Visitors are now welcome at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids. The Museum Store is open. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at Visit the Museum.
Hours of operation are Monday – Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM, Sunday Noon – 5 PM.
For school visit information email:Fieldtrip. For adult tour information email: Group Visits. Check our calendar for all upcoming programs and events.

Gerald R. Ford Museum

The Museum Store is currently open. You may also make purchases online here.

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.

Admission:

$11.00 for adults
$9.00 for senior citizens and military service members
$8.00 for college students with ID
$5.00 for youth ages 6-18
Free for children under the age of 5
Free Parking is Available for all Museum Patrons

Grand Rapids, MI

303 Pearl Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI  49504-5353

616.254.0400

Tour the NEW Permanent Exhibit Galleries: Explore the Museum

Other Exhibits

The Museum staff has created several online exhibits, either to supplement permanent exhibits or to publicize temporary exhibits.

Upcoming Exhibit

people looking at painting

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition showcases the awe and wonder of arguably one of mankind’s greatest artistic achievements, while allowing its visitors to experience this art from an Up-Close, Life-Sized, and Never-Before-Seen perspective.

On display May - October, 2022.

Upcoming Programs and Events - Grand Rapids


Date Event
  Exhibits in Grand Rapids
May 20 - September 11, 2022

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition (a SEE Global Entertainment exhibit) showcases the awe and wonder of arguably one of mankind’s greatest artistic achievements, while allowing its visitors to experience this art from an Up-Close, Life-Sized, and Never-Before-Seen perspective.

With special expertise and care, the ceiling paintings from the Sistine Chapel have been reproduced in a truly unique way using licensed high definition photos. Brought to life using a special printing technique that emulates the look and feel of the original paintings, visitors are given a chance to engage with the artwork in ways that were never before possible: seeing every detail, every brushstroke, and every color of the artist’s 34 frescoes. Each image is accompanied by informative signage.

This globally successful exhibition is an innovative and unique interpretation of Michelangelo’s timeless masterpiece. Whether visitors have already been to the Sistine Chapel or not, everyone can admire the artwork up close, at their own pace, and with the ability to capture photographic memories of this iconic work. For more information.

  Programs in Grand Rapids
May 19, 2022
7PM

Not By Bread Alone: Why We Need Beauty
with Jeff Polet


The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum are back in full swing! Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime speaker series featuring Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, a SEE Global Entertainment exhibit.

Our newly appointed director of the Ford Leadership Forum, Jeff Polet, opens our “Evenings to Remember Speaker Series” with Not by Bread Alone: Why We Need Beauty. “Beauty will save the world,” Dostoevsky wrote. But how? What difference does it practically make in our private and public lives? Human beings have always sought to gild their labors and efforts, not content with things being merely workable, but beautiful as well. Beauty is intimately related to morality and justice, and thus a good society cannot be formed or sustained without attention to Beauty’s demands. And hardly any constellation of art exceeds the beauty of the Sistine Chapel.

About the Speaker
Jeff Polet, a native of West Michigan, is the newly selected director of the Ford Leadership Forum at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation. He is also Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Hope College. He received his BA from Calvin College and his MA and Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America. He also serves on the board of The Front Porch Republic and as Senior Fellow at The Russell Kirk Center. He has published widely on issues such as constitutional law, American and Continental political theory, education, religion and politics, conservatism, and other topics. He and his wife Yolanda have three adult children.

RSVP - IN PERSON or VIRTUAL



May 25, 2022
7PM

Michelangelo and the Art of Difficulty
with Henry Luttikhuizen

Join the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum in welcoming Henry Luttikhuizen to our “Evenings to Remember” speaker series featuring Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.

At the height of the Italian Renaissance, artists such as Michelangelo actively pursued difficult projects. The challenge was not merely the completion of a tough task. On the contrary, it was intimately tied to the ability to conceal one’s manual labor. Michelangelo frequently strove to give the appearance that he was capable of overcoming great difficulties with ease. Yet, when he wrote about his experience of painting the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo complained of sore muscles and other ailments. Luttikhuizen will examine Michelangelo’s preoccupation with difficulty and reconsider the relationship between physical exhaustion and intellectual agility in early sixteenth-century Italy.

About the Speaker
Henry Luttikhuizen is a Professor of Art History at Calvin College (Grand Rapids MI). He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia and has taught for nearly three decades. Henry is a specialist in 15th-century Dutch and Flemish art. He has co-written textbooks on Medieval Art and on Northern Renaissance Art. Henry has also curated exhibitions on 17th-century Dutch art. He is a distinguished scholar who has served as the President of the Midwest Art History Society and as the President of the American Association of Netherlandic Studies. Henry has lectured on Dutch art and culture across the United States. In his presentations, Henry enhances understanding through clarity and humor. He is committed to the notion that knowledge begins in wonder and lectures in a playful manner that encourages his audiences to re-imagine the past as they engage with the present and consider new possibilities.

RSVP - IN-PERSON or VIRTUAL

June 2, 2022
7PM

The Fictive Architecture of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel
with Duncan Stroik

Join the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum in welcoming Duncan Stroik to our “Evenings to Remember Speaker Series!” You won’t want to miss this opportunity to explore Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, an exhibit by SEE Global Entertainment.

Michelangelo, the Renaissance painter, sculptor, and architect, is probably best known for his figures: the monumental David, the gracefully lifeless Christ in the Pietà, and the energy of the Creation of Adam. This last example is one of the scenes of salvation history depicted in the famous Sistine Chapel ceiling. In this lecture, we will take a closer look at the Sistine Chapel. How was Michelangelo influenced by the existing architecture of the chapel, and how did he add to it with the architectural elements in his frescoes?

About the Speaker
Duncan G. Stroik is a practicing architect, author, and Professor of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame. His work includes Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel in Santa Paula, California, the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and Christ Chapel at Hillsdale College. Stroik authored The Church Building as a Sacred Place: Beauty, Transcendence and the Eternal and is the editor of Sacred Architecture Journal.

RSVP - IN PERSON or VIRTUAL



School Group Visits and Current Programs


Coach Tours

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.

 

 

Email: Group Tours

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.

Plan an Event

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.

Venue highlights

library main lobby

Museum Main Lobby

The expansive main lobby of the Museum is an exceptional setting for dinners, special addresses, and receptions. Visitors can also browse the Museum store which offers a variety of unique gifts and books.

Capacity: Sit-down dinner - 100 / Standing reception - 250

library auditorium

Auditorium

The 250-seat auditorium, complete with stage and audio/visual equipment, has the versatility to accommodate symposiums, educational presentations, cultural events, award ceremonies, and musical performances, among others.

Capacity: 254

library courtyard

Museum Grounds

Visitors can enjoy the beautiful Betty Ford Garden and the reflecting pool and fountain. The Museum grounds are also home to President Ford’s distinguished burial site.

More Information

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: ford.museum@nara.gov

View/Download Rental Document:

For Individuals and Groups with Special Needs

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

Parking at both facilities is free, and accessible parking spaces are located in both the main and over-flow parking lots.

Wheelchairs

Standard wheelchairs are available at both locations at no charge. Strollers are also available at the Museum.

Restrooms

All public restrooms include accessible facilities, and are ADA compliant. All restrooms have baby-changing stations.

Hearing Impaired

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.

Sign Language Interpreters

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.

Assistive Animals

Visitors, who require Service Animals, such as guide-dogs, are welcome to bring them into the Museum.

Visually Impaired

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.

Volunteers

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

Internships

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.