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Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Acquires Beyonce’s Vogue Cover Photo

Last September, photographer Tyler Mitchell made history when he became the first African American to shoot Vogue’s September issue with Beyonce as its cover star.

On Tuesday, Mitchell confirmed in a tweet that one of the portraits from the issue was being acquired by the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery's permanent collection in Washington, D.C. The institution also confirmed the news.


Associate Curator of Photographs Leslie Ureña, to CNN: It is not yet known when the portrait will be made available to the public.

View this post on Instagram

@beyonce in cornrows by me on the September cover of American Vogue

A post shared by Tyler Mitchell (@tylersphotos) on

The selected photo sees Beyoncé on location for her Vogue shoot just outside of London, wearing a sequin-covered Valentino dress and exuberant Philip Treacy London headpiece.

“A year ago today we broke the flood gates open,” Mitchell wrote of the news on Instagram this morning. “Since then, it was important to spend the whole year running through them making sure every piece of the gate was knocked down.”

Mitchell uses his photographs to tell a bigger story; he calls himself a “concerned photographer” who is socially and politically engaged.

To that end, Mitchell told Vogue that the Beyoncé shoot served as more than just a fashion spread, but rather an opportunity for empowerment.

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