LIVE

Photographer Tyler Mitchell became the first African-American to shoot the cover of Vogue

By Robyn Merrett
August 06, 2019 07:45 PM
Advertisement

Beyoncé‘s historic Vogue portrait shot by 24-year-old Tyler Mitchell will soon be on display at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Mitchell, who gained worldwide notoriety for becoming the first African-American photographer to shoot a cover for the famous fashion publication in its 125-year history, announced the exciting news on Twitter on Tuesday.

“A year ago today we broke the flood gates open,” he wrote alongside the photograph, which shows Beyoncé, 37, wearing a shimmery gold Valentino dress and a hat by Philip Treacy London.

“Now I’m glad to share this picture is being acquired into the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection,” Mitchell added.

The portrait, which appeared in Vogue‘s September issue, is titled “See Your Halo” and was taken in the English countryside of London.

It has yet to be announced when the portrait will go on display.

The National Portrait Gallery confirmed the portrait has been acquired, telling PEOPLE in a statement, “We are delighted to acquire this magnificent portrait of Beyoncé.”

Mitchell, an Atlanta native, opened up about working with Beyoncé, telling Vogue last year, “When she sat down for me there was immediately the kind of comfort level you’d have with a friend, which was quite unexpected.”

Beyonce
Beyonce
| Credit: Kevin Winter/PW18/Getty Images for Parkwood Entertainment

“You’d imagine someone as famous as Beyoncé to be protective of her image, but she was really an open book — and that’s exactly what you want as a photographer,” he explained to Vogue. “It’s funny because I’m pretty sure she headlined the first concert I ever went to, when I was maybe eight or nine, so you could say we met in a past life.”

Tyler Mitchell
Tyler Mitchell
| Credit: Sean Zanni/Getty Images

As for making history, Mitchell, whose portfolio consists of photos commissioned by Marc Jacobs and Converse, shared it’s been a long time coming.

“For so long, black people have been considered things,” Mitchell told Vogue. “We’ve been thingified physically, sexually, emotionally. With my work I’m looking to revitalize and elevate the black body.”

Mitchell went on to shoot the May 2019 cover of Vogue starring Zendaya Coleman.