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A Groundbreaking Photo Of Beyoncé Has Been Selected For The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

"See Your Halo" was shot by Tyler Mitchell, the first black photographer to shoot a cover for Vogue.

Posted on August 7, 2019, at 4:10 p.m. ET

Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images

A groundbreaking photograph of Beyoncé has been selected to enter the permanent collection of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

The shot was coordinated for Vogue by Tyler Mitchell, the first black photographer to shoot a cover for the magazine in its 126-year history and one of the youngest photographers to do so.

Mitchell shared the news in a tweet on Tuesday.

A year ago today 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

A spokesperson for the National Portrait Gallery confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the portrait has been acquired, but is not currently on view to the public.

The museum is still in the planning stages of when the picture will be displayed, the spokesperson said.

Leslie Ureña, the associate curator of photographs for the gallery, said staffers were "thrilled to acquire this magnificent portrait."

“This acquisition will allow us to document a significant shift in the history of fashion photography through the depiction of a key figure in American culture," Ureña said in an emailed statement.

This will be the second portrait of Beyoncé to enter the museum’s collection, the first being a poster of the singer’s debut album, Dangerously in Love, which is currently not on display.

According to HuffPost, the performer was given an unprecedented amount of control over the September 2018 issue of Vogue, allowing her to be in charge of various details such as the photographer, which eventually opened the door for Mitchell.

In the extended captions that accompanied Mitchell’s photography, Beyoncé explained why she chose to work with the young black photographer.

“Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like," she said.

"It’s important to me that I help open doors for younger artists," she added.

Mitchell, who previously shot for Teen Vogue and Marc Jacobs, told the New York Times that he depicts “black people and people of color in a really real and pure way.”

“There is an honest gaze to my photos,” he said.

Mitchell’s work will join the works of other black photographers featured in the gallery, including Kwame Brathwaite, Roy DeCarava, Gordon Parks, James Van Der Zee, and Augustus Washington.

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