When Beyoncé graced the cover of Vogue in September 2018, jaws dropped around the world. Not only did the music icon look absolutely stunning in everything she wore, from bold floral headdresses to a pointed halolike hat, but that single issue of the highly coveted fashion magazine truly made history. As a result of the history-making cover — which was shot by 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell, the first Black photographer to ever shoot a Vogue cover — Beyoncé’s portrait will now be featured on the walls of the Smithsonian.
Mitchell took to Twitter on Tuesday (August 6) to share to the exciting news. “A year ago today we broke the floodgates open,” he wrote. “Now I’m glad to share this picture is being acquired into the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection.” This, of course, is a huge deal for Mitchell — especially after Beyoncé herself wrote about the importance of opening doors for people of color. “When I first started, 21 years ago, I was told that it was hard for me to get onto covers of magazines because black people did not sell,” she wrote in her Vogue feature. “Clearly that has been proven a myth. Not only is an African American on the cover of the most important month for Vogue, this is the first ever Vogue cover shot by an African American photographer.”
Inevitably, the National Portrait Gallery is just as thrilled about this new addition. “We’re just so crazy in love with her that we had to do it!” the gallery tweeted. “We look forward to adding this new work to our collection.” The portraits included in the collection feature a variety of notable figures, including scientists, inventors, politicians, athletes, movie stars, and yes, musicians. In other words, Beyoncé will fit right in. And the fact that we’ll soon be able to physically bow down to a portrait of Queen Bey the next time we’re in Washington D.C. is honestly pretty cool.
But alas, you probably shouldn’t book your trip to the nation’s capital quite yet. The Smithsonian hasn’t revealed when the portrait will officially be on display to the public, and we certainly wouldn’t want you to miss it. “We’ll be sure to keep everyone posted when the portrait goes up,” the gallery tweeted. The anticipation is real.