Portraits of the Obama’s Help Break Visitor Record at the National Portrait Gallery It has been one year since the portraits of former President Barack Obama and former first lady, Michelle Obama were introduced to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. According to the Washington Post, the two portraits were pivotal in helping the Smithsonian Museum break a visitor record. The Smithsonian American Art Museum ended 2018 with a total of 2.3 million visitors-up by one million from the previous year. The Gallery says that after 4:30pm on week days they see an increase in younger visitors and they ask, Where are the Obamas? The tradition of adding outgoing presidents to the gallery started in 1994.