New statue of President Ford installed in Michigan
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – A new bronze statue of former President Gerald R. Ford has been installed at the presidential museum that bears his name in Grand Rapids.
The replica of a work dedicated in May in Washington, D.C., was installed Monday outside the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, The Grand Rapids Press reported. The installation came ahead of the funeral for former first lady Betty Ford, who died Friday at age 93.
“The Ford family is delighted with the artist’s rendition of President Ford. They believe it captures him perfectly,” said Matt McLogan, a spokesman for the Gerald R. Ford Foundation.
Funeral services for Betty Ford took place on Tuesday in California. Another service will be held on Thursday in Michigan. She will be buried Thursday next to her husband on the museum grounds.
The 450-pound, 7-foot tall casting depicts Ford as if in motion, holding papers in his left hand and looking off into the distance. The statue is by Michigan native J. Brett Grill, who formerly lived near Grand Rapids. He said he is proud to see his work on display at the museum.
“I think it’s especially meaningful to me. It’s my hometown,” Grill said. “I grew up with all the lore of the Ford family.”
On Thursday, workers made way for the Ford statue as they lifted out the bronze spaceman sculpture, known as “Man in Space,” by crane. It is to be refurbished before being installed after the conclusion of the ArtPrize competition this fall at the museum.
Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, http://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids
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