Beyonce (Photo by Tyler Mitchell)
Beyonce (Photo by Tyler Mitchell)

A historic portrait of Beyoncé by photographer Tyler Mitchell has been tagged to become part of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection.

The portrait, which appeared on the cover of Vogue’s September 2018 issue, marked the first time an African American photographer’s image was used for the magazine’s cover. The imagery features Beyonce wearing a dress by Valentino and a hat by Philip Treacy.

At age 23, Mitchell listed among the youngest photographers to have shot a cover of Vogue.

He revealed news of the museum’s selection Tuesday on Twitter: “[A] year ago … we broke the flood gates open. Now I’m glad to share this picture is being acquired into the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection.”

The National Portrait Gallery in response tweeted: “We’re just so crazy in love with her that we had to do it! We look forward to adding this new work to our collection.”

Beyonce wrote in Vogue’s extended captions of the photos that when she first started her career 21 years ago, she was told that it was hard to get onto covers of magazines because Black people did not sell.

“Clearly that has been proven a myth,” Beyonce wrote. “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.”

No date has been given for when the museum will put the photo on display.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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