OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - You’ve likely seen the image of a young black girl in a pink and red parka looking up at a portrait of Michelle Obama at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
That girl is two-year-old Parker Curry and she was so mesmerized that she could hardly break her awestruck stare to take a photo for her mom, according to CNN.
"Parker was in front on the portrait, and I really wanted her to turn around so I could get a picture with her, and she genuinely, honestly would not turn around," said her mother, Jessica Curry, per CNN. "She was uncooperative with me because she was just so focused on the portrait and studying it, and she was just so fascinated.”
The photo was captured by Ben Hines, who took a trip with his mother to view the portraits. He posted the picture on his Facebook page and it went viral.
“Donna Hines and I made a pilgrimage today and we were delighted to wait in line behind this fellow art lover and hopeful patriot,” Hines wrote in the post.
Amy Sherald, the artist who painted the portrait, posted the photo on her Instagram. “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,” she wrote in the post.
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
Little Parker’s mother saw the image that was spreading throughout social media when friends started sending her screen shots, according to CNN.
"In further discussion with (Parker) yesterday and today, I realized that she believes Michelle Obama is a queen, and she wants to be a queen as well," Curry said, per CNN.
The portraits for former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama were unveiled last month. Both chose African-American artists. The artist Barack Obama chose, Kehinde Wiley, was the first African-American artist tasked with creating an official presidential portrait for the gallery.