The last time we were at The National Portrait Gallery, it was a rainy day and Parker was photographed wearing her red and pink Kate Spade raincoat and red Hunter rain boots awestruck by the portrait of our former First Lady Michelle Obama. That day, however regular it may have seemed to us, is now a day that millions of people around the world are familiar with and have been inspired by. We hadn't been back to the gallery since the day the photo of Parker admiring the portrait went viral but on this particular day we were excited to be back and to be meeting the talented and kind artist who painted the portrait, Amy Sherald.
We arrived at the National Portrait Gallery before Amy but when she did arrive, Parker was ecstatic to meet the female artist who painted "Michelle Obama, the Queen". Quite unexpectedly Amy came bearing gifts sure to inspire (colored pencils, a drawing pad). We were also greeted at the gallery by Emmy award winning NBC4 Washington anchor & happy Mama to 3 little ones, Eun Yang. Eun spent some time hanging out with Parker exploring the museum, talking about the portrait that sparked a million tweets and they even had little dance party of their own.
Amy Sherald discussed her portrait on display in the National Portrait Gallery; skillfully answering questions while holding her new friend, 3-year-old Parker, in her arms. I don't think I would even conduct an interview standing with my super active and talkative toddler in my arms. Kudos to her! However, I must admit, Parker has proven to be quite poised and polite throughout all of the interviews. This shouldn't come as a surprise but Parker also requested a dance party with Amy Sherald and the portrait artist kindly obliged. Imagine being a 3-year-old dancing through the hallways of the National Portrait Gallery with the artist who painted the portrait of an admired former First Lady - the only African American First Lady this country has ever had. Yeah, my mind is still pretty blown. Parker also made sure to share a little known secret with Amy; the National Portrait Gallery is actually former First Lady Michelle Obama's castle!
The National Portrait Gallery is one of our favorite museums in Washington, D.C. Like most museums in D.C., the gallery is open to the public and admission is free. I've been taking Parker to the gallery since she was a baby and the gallery has an incredible space dedicated to children called Explore! with the Portrait Gallery that is a must visit. Visitors can trace each other’s silhouettes, take various interactive photos in the photo booth for a cool projected video art piece on the walls, and build with blocks that illustrate various expressions and emotions. The children's exhibit is located on the first floor of the gallery and is intended for children as young as 18 months and as old as 8 years. Explore! with the Portrait Gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday 11:30 am to 6:00 pm.