Malia Obama Causes Stir at Kerry James Marshall Retrospective

The young art lover attracted a lot of attention.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 12: (AFP OUT) Malia Obama leaves the State Dining room of the White House , January 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

During a recent visit to New York Malia Obama visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Breuer building to take in Kerry James Marshall’s “Mastry,” on Sunday.

The critically acclaimed retrospective presents a snapshot of the American painter’s 35-year career, which has been dedicated to countering the stereotypical representation of black people in Western art history. The timeliness of the exhibition was not lost on visitors, who braved the chilly New York temperatures, waiting patiently in a lengthy line that circled around the corner of Madison Ave. onto 75th St.

Catching the exhibition on the final day, the 18-year-old daughter of former President Barack Obama and a friend reportedly spent over two hours studying the 80 works on view. Malia and her friend did their best to blend into the crowd at the busy museum, despite inevitably attracting significant attention from other museum guests.

According to Page Six several fellow visitors subtly attempted to snap pictures of the young art lover whilst she was browsing the show, although witnesses cited by the paper reported that the majority of patrons respected the former first daughter’s privacy.

Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (2014). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (2014). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“A lot of people sneaking pictures,” a unnamed source told Page Six. “A lot of people buzzing about it. Walking around, ‘Did you see Malia? Malia Obama’s here!’ People approaching her at least as far as I could see, to directly take a picture or ask questions or whatever, was pretty minimal.”

The source added, “I did hear that at some point she seemed to get a little overwhelmed with the picture taking. But overall people seemed to be very respectful,” the anonymous witness also observed that Malia “seemed very polite” when approached.

The Met confirmed Malia’s visit, telling the ShowBiz site that she arrived with her personal security detail in tow.

Malia’s mother, former first lady Michelle Obama, visited the touring exhibition at Chicago MCA in August, where she was given a personal guided tour by Kerry James Marshall and MCA director Madeleine Grynsztejn.

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