Beyoncé’s next appearance? The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery

Beyoncé at "The Lion King" premiere
Beyoncé’s 2018 Vogue portrait is headed to the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
(Etienne Laurent / EPA-EFE / REX)

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is acquiring yet another national treasure.

A portrait of Beyoncé featured in a 2018 edition of Vogue will go on display at the museum at an undisclosed date. The photographer, Tyler Mitchell — who made history as the first black photographer to shoot an American Vogue cover, commissioned by Beyoncé — broke the news on Twitter on Tuesday.

“A year ago today we broke the flood gates open,” Mitchell wrote. “Now I’m glad to share this picture is being acquired into the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection.”

In the photo, a goddess-like Beyoncé — clad in a shimmery gold Valentino dress and regal Philip Treacy headpiece — rests her elbows on a column decorated with a floral bouquet. The National Portrait Gallery later added on to Mitchell’s Twitter announcement, commenting, “We’re just so crazy in love with her that we had to do it! We look forward to adding this new work to our collection.”


While the gallery’s Twitter account promised to “keep everyone posted when the portrait goes up,” the Vogue photo is not the first Beyoncé piece to be displayed in the museum. The National Portrait Gallery currently includes a print of the “Spirit” singer‘s first solo album cover, “Dangerously in Love.”

“Our mission is to tell the story of America by portraying the people who shape this nation’s history, development, and culture,” the gallery tweeted. “We are happy to work with Tyler to acquire his photograph of Beyoncé Knowles into the Portrait Gallery’s collection.”

Beyoncé’s fourth Vogue cover came along with several shots of the performer, captioned by none other than the artist herself.

“Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like,” she wrote in the fashion magazine. “That is why I wanted to work with this brilliant 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell.”