We knew already that Beyoncé is a cultural icon: but that fact has now been affirmed by the fact that her portrait is being acquired by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, to be displayed as part of their permanent collection. It's like we're witnessing the Mona Lisa Smile in 2019! (Just me?)
The chosen image of the Lion King actress originally appeared in the September 2018 edition of Vogue, and depicts Beyoncé leaning against a plinth in a regal sequinned Valentino gown, with a golden structure on her head resembling a sun, created by Phillip Treacy. Naturally, because it's Beyoncé, it's all kinds of fabulous: so it's no surprise that it's been earmarked by the gallery as a historically-important masterpiece.
The photographer, Tyler Mitchell posted the image to Instagram yesterday, accompanied by an emotional caption about the news 'A year ago today we broke the flood gates open. Since then it was important to spend the whole year running through them making sure every piece of the gate was knocked down. And now I’m glad to share this picture is being acquired into the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection'.
Mitchell was the first black photographer to be hired by American Vogue for a cover shoot (and hand-picked by Beyonce, no less - who was given creative control), within the issue Beyoncé released personal essays that interrogated diversity, body image, pregnancy and marriage.
The Smithsonian gallery has also posted on its social media accounts about the portrait, and assuring the public that they will be 'sure to keep everyone posted when the portrait goes up'.
'Our mission is to tell the story of America by portraying the people who shape this nation’s history, development, and culture,' the gallery wrote on it's Twitter account 'we are happy to work with Tyler to acquire his photograph of Beyoncé Knowles into the Portrait Gallery’s collection.'
We, for one could not be more excited for Beyoncé to be immortalized as part of a prestigious gallery collection, well and truly living up to her reputation by becoming a part of history and arts heritage. Now: how about a celebratory round of Single Ladies to commemorate the occasion?