Tickets to the museum can be purchased at the door or online at Visit the Museum.
The Museum is CLOSED on Mondays.
At the core of the Museum is the permanent exhibit, which allows visitors to experience highlights from President and Mrs. Ford's lives. The exhibit teaches democratic citizenship and allows for quiet reflection. In addition to the permanent exhibits, changing temporary exhibits draw artifacts from Museums all over the country.
The Ford Museum opened to the public in September 1981 and is part of the Presidential libraries system of the National Archives and Records Administration, a Federal agency.
The Ford Museum is in Grand Rapids, Michigan while the Ford Library is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Despite the separation, the library and museum are a single institution sharing one director.
The Museum staff has created several online exhibits, either to supplement permanent exhibits or to publicize temporary exhibits.
The Watergate break-in on June 17, 1972, forever changed politics, the media, and Americans’ views of the Presidency. This exhibit explores the events of Watergate using a range of artifacts, including courtroom sketches and one of President Nixon’s tape recorders.
October 2022 - October 2024
America at the Crossroads: The GUITAR and a Changing Nation
The new exhibition, America at the Crossroads: The GUITAR and a Changing Nation looks at America’s evolution through the lens of its most popular instrument. The exhibit displays forty instruments that serve as touchpoints to connect visitors with significant moments in America’s history and culture—from the earliest Spanish invasion to the nation’s modern status as a global superpower. The artifacts are supplemented with video, photographs, and illustrations that depict important events, artists, and instruments of the last century. This touring exhibition from the National GUITAR Museum is making its national debut at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
January 27, 2023 - May 28, 2023
|Exhibits in Grand Rapids|
|January 27-May 28, 2023|
America at the Crossroads: The GUITAR & A Changing Nation
The new exhibition, America at the Crossroads: The GUITAR and a Changing Nation, looks at America’s evolution through the lens of its most popular instrument. The exhibit displays forty instruments that serve as touchpoints to connect visitors with significant moments in America’s history and culture—from the earliest Spanish invasion to the nation’s modern status as a global superpower. The artifacts are supplemented with video, photographs, and illustrations that depict important events, artists, and instruments of the last century. This touring exhibition from the National GUITAR Museum is making its national debut at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. Learn more here.
|Programs in Grand Rapids|
|January 27, 2023
7 PM EST
Exhibit Opening with Dick Boak
America at the Crossroads: The GUITAR & A Changing Nation
Join the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and Library & Museum in welcoming Dick Boak to open America at the Crossroads: The GUITAR and A Changing Nation. As an author, historian, and guitar builder for Martin guitars, Dick Boak will bring these instruments to life.
About Dick Boak:
|February 16, 2023
Ford and the Recognition of Black History Month
Learn about President Ford's role in recognizing Black History Month in 1976 by taking a peek into the Museum's artifact collection. Curator Mirelle Luecke will speak about how the museum's collection -- both what it has and what it doesn't have -- shed light on this moment in history.
|February 22, 2023
7 PM EST
O Say Can You Hear?
About Mark Clague:
Guided tours of our permanent exhibits are offered weekdays, during the school year. Advance scheduling a minimum of two weeks in advance is required.
For groups larger than 75 students, we encourage you to divide into smaller groups and stagger your arrival times by at least one hour.
One teacher per class admitted FREE.
For 3rd – 12th grades: One chaperone for every ten students required and admitted FREE.
For Pre-K – 2nd grades: One chaperone for every five students required and admitted FREE.
Admission for additional adults is $9.00 per person.
ALL school programs and guided tours must be scheduled a minimum of two weeks in advance.
Bus parking is on Scribner, NW located directly west of the Museum.
Group admission discounts are available for groups of 20 or more. Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis. All adult groups are self-guided.
We suggest approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours to view and enjoy the 15,000 square feet of permanent and temporary exhibit space. Tour buses are encouraged to use the circle drive to safely drop off their passengers on the Museum plaza.
Parking is free in the south lot (located off Pearl Street NW), and several handicap spaces are available. If you bring a motor coach, bus, or an RV, parking will be on Scribner Avenue, located directly west of the Museum. It is a one-way street and runs north/south.
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is the final resting place for President and Mrs. Ford. Their memorial gravesites can be viewed daily from 7:45 AM to 5 PM.
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is a 54,000 square foot educational and cultural facility, located on the bank of the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids. This setting provides a prestigious venue for a meeting, reception, and/or dinner. The Museum offers a 15,000 square foot permanent exhibit, and a 3,500 square foot changing exhibit gallery. Convenient parking.
General availability for all spaces is Monday - Friday, between the hours of 10 AM – 9 PM. Contact the Museum for information about scheduling an event, rental fee structure, or to review regulations on the use of the facility and the application process. Events must be consistent with the public perception of the Museum as an educational, research, or cultural institution (no weddings, proms, or similar events).
Call: 616-254-0400 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
All areas of the Museum and Library are ADA compliant , and are accessible to people in wheelchairs via ramps and elevators. All Museum and Library exhibits are wheelchair accessible.
Parking at both facilities is free, and accessible parking spaces are located in both the main and over-flow parking lots.
Standard wheelchairs are available at both locations at no charge. Strollers are also available at the Museum.
All public restrooms include accessible facilities, and are ADA compliant. All restrooms have baby-changing stations.
To help visitors who are hearing impaired, a number of exhibits include closed captioning or text panels. The Museum Auditorium is equipped with a T-coil assisted listening loop, and hand-held units are available upon request. The Library Auditorium is equipped with a T-coil loop.
With a minimum of two weeks notice, the Museum is able to provide Sign Language Interpreters at no charge. Sign Language Interpreters who are accompanying school groups or the public and assisting visitors who are hearing impaired are admitted to the Museum at no charge.
Visitors, who require Service Animals, such as guide-dogs, are welcome to bring them into the Museum.
With a minimum of two weeks notice, the Museum will provide an interpretive guide to groups or individuals at no charge.
Single visitors, adult groups or school groups with special needs can be accommodated at both the Museum and Library with guided tours. Please call (616) 254-0374 (Museum) and (734) 205-0540 (Library) for more information.
The Gerald R. Ford Museum is always seeking volunteers to assist with tours, educational programs, and public events. If you enjoy history, join us! For more information about volunteer opportunities at the Museum, please download the Volunteer Service Application Form.
For more on volunteer opportunities, contact:
Kristin Phillips at (616) 254-0374
The Museum accepts a limited number of college interns each year to assist with processing, preservation, and digitization of museum holdings. The Padnos Museum Internship Program provides the necessary skills students need to attain a certain level of marketability in the field. For its nearly twenty years in operation, the program has provided lasting experiences for students from around the country.