Beyoncé performs onstage during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City.
Larry Busacca/MTV1617—Getty Images for MTV
August 7, 2019 12:27 PM EDT

A historic portrait of Beyoncé taken by photographer Tyler Mitchell will be displayed at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. The portrait of Beyoncé made history last year, when Mitchell became the first black photographer to shoot a cover for Vogue at the age of 23.

Beyoncé specifically selected Mitchell to photograph her for the September 2018 Vogue issue. “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 wrote in the issue. “It’s important to me that I help open doors for younger artists.”

Now, the National Portrait Gallery has acquired the photograph to add to its permanent collection. Mitchell shared the news on Twitter and Instagram.

“A year ago today we broke the flood gates open,” Michell wrote. “Since then it was important to spend the whole year running through them making sure every piece of the gate was knocked down. And 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 the acquisition to TIME. The details over when and how the photo will be put on display are still being planned out, she said.

The image — which featured in the 8-page Vogue photo editorial but was not used as one of the magazine’s two covers — features Beyoncé in a metallic sequin Valentino dress and a gold Philip Treacy headpiece.

Write to Mahita Gajanan at

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