Gerald R. Ford Museum
Exhibits, Events, Education Center

303 Pearl Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

616-254-0400 (tel)
616-254-0386 (fax)

Ford Museum Facebook Page

Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm (Mon-Sat)
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Sundays
(Closed New Year's, Thanksgiving, & Christmas Days)

Gerald R. Ford Library
Research, Events, Small Exhibits

1000 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

734-205-0555 (tel)
734-205-0571 (fax)

Ford Library Facebook Page

Hours: 8:45am-4:45pm (Mon-Fri)
(Closed Sat., Sun., & Federal Holidays)

Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum
and Exhibits Calendar

For information on events at the Ford Museum (Grand Rapids, Michigan) call (616) 254-0400

For information on events at the Ford Library (Ann Arbor, Michigan) call
(734) 205-0555
Support for programming provided by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation

Exhibits | Speakers and Programs | Deadlines | Email Subscription



ArtPrize 2015
September 23 - October 11, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS -- ArtPrize is a radically open international art competition decided by public vote and expert jury that takes place each fall in Grand Rapids. For 19 days, art entries from all over the world cover three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan—and it’s all free and open to the public. The Gerald R. Ford Museum will host 30 pieces of art in 2015. Sneak Peek of our art.


Drawdown Vietnam, April – May 1975
Through September 2015

ANN ARBOR-- America’s long involvement in the war in Vietnam and Indochina drew to a close in April - May 1975. As the city of Saigon fell to the advancing North Vietnamese Army, the United States military evacuated thousands of South Vietnamese civilians to ships nearby.

In the midst of the chaos, two smaller rescues took place – Operation Babylift, in which more than three thousand children and babies were airlifted to safety, and the rescue of the S.S. Mayaguez, whose ship and crew were captured by forces of the new Cambodian Khmer Rouge government less than two weeks following the fall of Saigon.

The unfolding of these events are chronicled in two lobby displays at the Gerald Ford Presidential Library – complete with artifacts, photographs, documents and personal stories of those involved.

A parallel online exhibit is also available.



Community Day of Remembrance / Scout Salute.
September 11, 2015 Dawn to Dusk

Join the Gerald R. Ford Council Boy Scouts of America as they salute the United States Flag.

Bat Sparrow

Bartholomew Sparrow
The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security

Thursday, October 8, 2015   7:30 p.m.

ANN ARBOR--Join us as academic historian/biographer Bartholomew Sparrow speaks about General Brent Scowcroft, one of the most important figures in modern U.S. global policy—yet one of the least-known – a man that not only shaped the policy process in administrations he advised and served, but also leftan enduring legacy as a model National Security Advisor.

Bartholomew Sparrow’s new book, The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security,provides an in-depth portrait of a man whose career has been intimately linked to the great transformations in U.S. foreign policy, from the last third of the Cold War, to September 11, 2001, and up to the present. 

The Strategist blends the personal and professional aspects of Mr. Scowcroft’s life, and shows how the very qualities that led so many people initially to underestimate and under appreciate Mr. Scowcroft—his willingness to work behind the scenes and leave the credit and publicity to others—were integral to his success in the policy realm.


Amy Grant and Susan Ford

Betty Ford Breast Care Services and Spectrum Health Cancer Center Present:
Candid Conversations with Amy Grant

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Welcome Reception
5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Candid Conversations

Jenison Center for the Arts
8375 20th Avenue, Jenison, MI

--Invite friends to a free event featuring Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and breast cancer awareness advocate Amy Grant. Other speakers and performers include Susan Ford Bales, local band Mid-Life Crisis and the Jenison Public Schools Music Department.

Enjoy light bites, selfie stations, ask-the-expert booths and more. Help us raise breast cancer awareness and honor Betty Ford’s legacy.

Reservations Required.

Seating is limited. Reserve up to four tickets. If you reserve tickets and cannot attend, please contact the box office at 616.667.3602 or so we can release the seats. Please bring your printed ticket or pick up at will call the day of the event.

This event is a collaboration between the Gerald R.Ford Foundation, Museum and Spectrum Health.

Evan Thomas
Being Nixon: A Man Divided
Thursday, October 22, 2015   7:00 p.m.

GRAND RAPIDS--In Being Nixon, Evan Thomas peels away the layers of the complex, confounding figure who became America’s thirty-seventh president. The son of devout Quakers, Richard Nixon (not unlike his rival John F. Kennedy) grew up in the shadow of an older, favored brother and thrived on conflict and opposition. Through high school and college, in the navy and in politics, he was constantly leading crusades and fighting off enemies real and imagined. As maudlin as he was Machiavellian, Nixon possessed the plainspoken eloquence to reduce American television audiences to tears with his career-saving “Checkers” speech; meanwhile, his darker half hatched schemes designed to take down his political foes, earning him the notorious nickname “Tricky Dick.”

Drawing on a wide range of historical accounts, Thomas reveals the contradictions of a leader whose vision and foresight led him to achieve détente with the Soviet Union and reestablish relations with communist China, but whose underhanded political tactics tainted his reputation long before the Watergate scandal. One of the principal architects of the modern Republican Party and its “silent majority” of disaffected whites and conservative ex-Dixiecrats, Nixon was also deemed a liberal in some quarters for his efforts to desegregate Southern schools, create the Environmental Protection Agency, and end the draft.

A deeply insightful character study as well as a brilliant political biography, Being Nixon offers a surprising look at a man capable of great bravery and extraordinary deviousness—a balanced portrait of a president too often reduced to caricature.

This event is in collaboration with the Hauenstien Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University.

Partisan Divide Cover

Congressman Martin Frost (D-TX) and Congressman Tom Davis (R-VA)
The Partisan Divide: Congress in Crisis
Tuesday October 27, 2015   7:30 p.m.

ANN ARBOR--Join us as former Congressmen Martin Frost (D-TX) and Tom Davis (R-VA) talk about their book The Partisan Divide: Congress in Crisis.

During their combined 40 years in Congress, Martin Frost and Tom Davis were the field generals for their respective parties, each serving two terms as chair of the Democratic and Republican House campaign committees. Now they have joined forces in an effort to save Congress from itself.

According to the authors, Congress is incapable of reforming itself without a good kick in the seat from the American public. Frost and Davis, with great insight and skill, along with a wealth of anecdotes and photos, dissect the causes of legislative gridlock and offer a common sense, bipartisan plan for making our Congress function again.

Uniquely qualified to examine the conflict in Washington, Frost and Davis also offer recommendations for key issues such as gerrymandering, redistricting, campaign finance reform, federal deficits, and the plausibility of holding “jungle primaries” before national primaries. 


Betty Caroli

Betty Caroli
Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President 
Thursday November 12, 2015   7:30 p.m.

ANN ARBOR--Join us as accomplished biographer Betty Caroli speaks about her just-released book, Lady Bird and Lyndon. In this absorbing work, Lady Bird takes center stage, showing strength and resilience behind her soft Southern manner, demonstrating her political acuity and business savvy, which were essential to Lyndon’s success.

Lady Bird and Lyndon restores Lady Bird to her rightful place in history, and paints a vivid portrait of a marriage with complex, but familiar and identifiable overtones. Caroli refutes the “doormat” reputation of a humiliated wife to a coarse, philandering Texan by underscoring the symbiotic relationship that mutually sustained the couple through their whole lives.

Caroli offers a fresh look at Lady Bird who proved herself to be “the coach, the advisor, the steady soothsayer to an erratic man,” by offering wise advice, keeping her volatile husband steady during his darkest moments, and helping him turn his sweeping ambitions into action.



Previous Events

2015 |2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2008-09 | 2007 | 2005-06


Gerald R. Ford Foundation Research Travel Grants
September 15 Annually
March 15 Annually
ANN ARBOR -- Application deadline. The Gerald R. Ford Foundation awards several research travel grants of up to $2,000 each in support of research in the holdings of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. A grant defrays travel, living, and photocopy expenses of a research trip to the Ford Library. More information.

Gerald R. Ford Scholar Award in Honor of Robert M. Teeter
March 31 Annually
ANN ARBOR -- Application deadline. A grant of $5000 is awarded annually to support dissertation research on any aspect of the United States political process during the latter part of the 20th century. More information.

Last Updated: March 26, 2013

Press Room