Michelle Obama dances with little girl photographed gazing at her Smithsonian portrait


A photo of a 2-year-old girl gazing at former first lady Michelle Obama’s portrait in the Smithsonian warmed hearts across the internet last week. On Tuesday, the subject of the inspirational photo got to meet Obama herself.

BuzzFeed News reported that Parker Curry was visiting the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., with her mother, Jessica Curry, and 1-year-old sister, Ava. Curry said she took her daughters to the museum on Thursday just to see the portrait of Michelle Obama and former President Barack Obama.

“I was trying to get her to turn around so I could take a picture, but she wouldn't cooperate,” Curry told BuzzFeed News. “She just wanted to stare at it. She was fascinated.”

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Ben Hines was visiting the area and was waiting in line behind Parker when he snapped the now-viral photo and posted it to Facebook.

CNN reported that Curry saw the image of her daughter when friends began sharing screenshots of it on Twitter.

“As a little person looking at a portrait that large, I can imagine it's fascinating,” Curry told BuzzFeed News. “She had a little moment.”

“In the world we live in today, I’m just trying to raise a little girl who has opportunities to see women who look like her doing great things,” Curry said.

When Amy Sherald, the painter of Michelle Obama’s portrait, reposted Curry’s photo of Parker on Instagram, the former FLOTUS herself responded with three heart-eye emojis, CNN reported.

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Sherald herself shared her own response to the image on her Instagram page.

“Feeling all the feels. When I look at this picture, I think back to my first field trip in elementary school to a museum,” Sherald wrote. “I had only seen paintings in encyclopedias up to that point in my life. There was a show up of work by painter @thebobartlett whose work still inspires me to this day. There was a painting of a black man standing in front of a house. I don’t remember a lot about my childhood, but I do have a few emotional memories etched into my mind forever and seeing that painting of a man that looked like he could be my father stopped me dead in my tracks. This was my first time seeing real paintings that weren’t in a book and also weren’t painted in another century. I didn't realize that none of them had me in them until I saw that painting of Bo’s. I knew I wanted to be an artist already, but seeing that painting made me realize that I could. What dreams may come?”

Feeling all the feels. 😭 When I look at this picture I think back to my first field trip in elementary school to a museum. I had only seen paintings in encyclopedias up to that point in my life. There was a show up of work by painter @thebobartlett whose work still inspires me to this day. There was a painting of a black man standing in front of a house. I don't remember a lot about my childhood, but I do have a few emotional memories etched into my mind forever and seeing that painting of a man that looked like he could be my father stopped me dead in my tracks. This was my first time seeing real paintings that weren't in a book and also weren't painted in another century. I didn't realize that none of them had me in them until I saw that painting of Bo's. I knew I wanted to be an artist already, but seeing that painting made me realize that I could. What dreams may come? #representationmatters

A post shared by Amy Sherald (@asherald) on

By Tuesday, Curry, Parker and Ava were able to meet Michelle Obama and have a dance party. Michelle Obama shared a photo and video of the meeting on her Instagram page.

“Parker, I’m so glad I had the chance to meet you today (and for the dance party)!” the tweet read. “Keep on dreaming big for yourself...and maybe one day I'll proudly look up at a portrait of you!”


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