Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Lee were accompanied by Earl A. "Rusty" Powell III, museum director of the National Gallery of Art.
The two women first admired an 1860 oil portrait of Abraham Lincoln, which Mr. Powell explained was the last portrait done of Lincoln before he grew a beard. More info on the painting, per a White House official, here:
Healy, George Peter Alexander
American, 1813 - 1894
The ladies listened intently as Powell explained it was a young girl who had written to Lincoln and suggested he would win the presidency if perhaps he had more whiskers on his chin -- Lincoln, after he became president, would later visit that little girl to thank her.
Mrs. Obama, whose nails were painted a chic summer white, and Mrs. Lee, who snapped a few photos, then moved with Mr. Powell a few feet in the same gallery to admire the Shaw Memorial, a large-scale sculpture depicting General Shaw and the first Civil War regiment of African-American soldiers. The memorial is often described as the greatest American sculpture of the 19th century. More on that work here:
American, 1848 - 1907
After that, the pool was ushered out while the trio went on to admire some landscape paintings. Your pooler spotted Tina Tchen as part of Mrs. Obama's small group.
Turnaround Arts Performance:
At 10:55, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Lee entered an atrium just off the galleries for a performance by students from the Turnaround Arts program-- the performance was titled "Just Like Us," and had a nature theme. Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Lee sat in two chairs up front, behind them just four guests, Tchen, and three other women, were also seated.
At the end of the performance, at approximately 11:09, the song "Lean on Me" began to play and Mrs. Obama hopped out of her seat to dance with the young performers. She danced for about three minutes before the other 5 women, including Mrs. Lee, joined her. They all danced with the 12 or so students until the song ended, a solid minute or so.
Afterwards, they posed for photos and Mrs. Obama hugged the performers. Mrs. Lee fist-bumped several of them as well. At 11:18, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Lee left the gallery atrium.
Per the White House, here is more information about the Turnaround Arts Program, which started in 2011:
Today's event will include a special performance by students from the Turnaround Arts Program. Turnaround Arts is a national program created by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities to help transform some of the nation's lowest performing schools through comprehensive and integrated arts education. The First Lady serves as the Committee's honorary chair. Since 2011, Turnaround Arts has empowered 68 schools in 27 school districts across 13 states and Washington, DC with innovative arts and music programs to help address broader school challenges and close the achievement gap.
For more information, visit: http:/turnaroundarts.pcah.gov<>http://turnaroundarts.pcah.gov<>
The students participating today are from the following schools in/around DC as a part of their program:
* Savoy Elementary
* School Without Walls
* Elizabeth Seton
* Archbishop Carol
* Eastern High School
* Duke Ellington
* Center City Public Charter