Marveling at Michelle Obama’s portrait, this girl captures hearts

Young girl looking at large painting hanging on wall (© Ben Hines)
(© Ben Hines)

Parker Curry, 2 years old, couldn’t take her eyes off of a new portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama. Her moment of awe at the National Portrait Gallery is electrifying social media.

When her mom, Jessica, asked her to turn around for a photo, Parker stayed glued to the spot. A tourist, 37-year-old Ben Hines, captured the moment on his phone — and Parker became a Facebook sensation.

The photo of Parker, with mouth agape at the portrait of Obama, who wears a sweeping dress against a light blue background, resonated around the globe.

Obama has said that, when she chose artist Amy Sherald to paint her portrait, she was thinking of little girls like Parker.

African-American girls “will see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall of this great American institution,” the former first lady said when her portrait was unveiled February 12. “I know the kind of impact that will have on their lives, because I was one of those girls.”

Parker met the person whose picture had so fascinated her on March 6. Afterward the former first lady wrote on social media, “Maybe one day I’ll proudly look up at a portrait of you!”