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.
Not all museum programming revolves around the exhibits; we also offer a wide variety of family-friendly events and lectures on a regular basis; the Museum Store sells items relating to the Ford presidency, other Presidents and First Ladies, and other souvenirs.
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 current temporary exhibit is available for both viewing at the Ford Museum and online. All others are available only in their online form.
Glimpse the early years of Gerald Ford and early 20th centuryGrand Rapids.
|Exhibits in Grand Rapids|
|November 5, 2016 through May 29, 2017|
SPACE: A Journey to Our Future
Experience the past, present and future of space exploration. The "SPACE: A Journey to Our Future" exhibition immerses visitors in the discoveries of the past and introduces them to today's explorers who are shaping our destiny in the universe.
The 12,000-square-foot exhibition is one of the largest touring space exhibits ever developed. Over the next four years, it will visit Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
|Programs in Grand Rapids|
January 20, 2017
Every 4 years the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum broadcasts the Inauguration Day coverage live on the large screen. Stop in and see the parades and speeches in real time! There Museum will be free all day!
|January 26, 2017 7:00 p.m.|
Join Professor Joel Goldstein of the St. Louis University School of Law as he discusses his book, The White House Vice Presidency: The Path to Significance, Mondale to Biden. The rise of the vice presidency took a sharp upward trajectory with the vice presidency of Walter Mondale. Goldstein focuses on how Mondale and Jimmy Carter designed and implemented a new model of the office that allowed the vice president to become a close presidential adviser and representative on missions that mattered. Goldstein examines how this model continues through our current administration. Reservations can be made by calling 616.254.0384 or via email at: email@example.com.
|February 15, 2017 7:00 p.m.|
Through triumph and tragedy, boom and bust, secrets and scandals,Paul Brandus takes you to the presidential bedroom, movie theater, Situation Room, Oval Office and more. Under This Roof is a “sensuous account of the history of both the home of the President, and the men and women who designed, inhabited, and decorated it. Brandus captivates with surprising, gloriously raw observations.”
Paul Brandus founded West Wing Reports ® in 2009 and provides reports for television and radio outlets around the United States and overseas. He is also a contributing columnist for USA Today, MarketWatch (Dow Jones) and his work has appeared in publications such as The Guardian, Real Clear Politics, National Review and The Week. In 2011, he won the Shorty Award for "Best Journalist on Twitter," sponsored by the Knight Foundation.
Reservations can be made by calling 616.254.0384 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Limited to one class. Guided tours are Monday through Wednesday, during the school year. Reserve two weeks in advance.
Limited to 75 students per visit. For groups larger than 75 students, divide into smaller groups and stagger arrivals by at least one hour.
For both docent-guided and self-guided tours, we require 1 adult chaperone for every 10 students. Teachers are included in this figure. The required chaperones are admitted free of charge. Children 15 and younger, and High School students visiting as part of an organized school visit are admitted free of charge. You will receive a confirmation letter when you schedule your visit.
E-mail: send school group reservations to: email@example.com
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 8 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 will be equipped with a T-coil loop (summer 2008).
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 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.
For more on internships and other volunteer opportunities, contact:
Collections Manager James Draper at (616) 254-0379