MI Arts: Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford - A Photography Exhibition

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Pulitzer Prize winning and presidential photographer David Hume Kennerly's exhibit "Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford" will be on display for the first time at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

The exhibit is scheduled to open on March 25 with a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. and a presentation at 7 p.m. featuring Kennerly and Ford's daughter Susan Ford Bales.


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"David's work not only captured historic images of our father's presidency, but also the personal side of our family," said Bales. "We are blessed to have this beautiful photography available and open for the public to view."

"Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford" follows Ford's presidency from the day he was appointed vice president to the end of his presidency. The exhibit is a collection of behind-closed-door images, including the inner workings of the White House, the Ford family, and the end of Ford's presidency after losing to Jimmy Carter in the 1976 election.

"Mr. Kennerly's unprecedented access to President Ford and his family offers a candid look into historic events surrounding some of our nation's darkest times while highlighting the president's efforts to heal the country," said Elaine Didier, director, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. "We are honored to have these images on display and give the public an opportunity to view history as seen through the eyes of one of the nation's highest regarded photographers."


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In 1972, Kennerly was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for a portfolio of his photos from the Vietnam War, the Ali-Frazier fight, refugees from East Pakistan in India, and combat in Cambodia. Two years later, at age 27, he accepted an appointment to serve as Ford's chief presidential photographer.

"I photographed every major event during President Ford's time in office. I think the most important image that emerged from the thousands of photos was a close-up portrait of the president's humanity," said Kennerly. "It is a privilege to bring these images to the home of President Ford and allow the community to experience his presidency and the Ford family's personal side."

Kennerly was named "One of the 100 Most Important People in Photography," by American Photo Magazine. He served as contributing editor for Newsweek for more than a decade and a contributing photographer for Time and Life magazines. Kennerly has published several books of his work: "Shooter," "Photo Op," "Seinoff: The Final Days of Seinfeld," "Photo du Jour," "Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford," and "David Hume Kennerly On the iPhone."


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He covered the 2016 presidential campaign for CNN, and was a major contributor to the network's book, "Unprecedented: The Election that Changed Everything."  His exclusive photo of Trump taken two weeks after he was elected was featured on the cover.

"Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford" will be on display through Sept. 2, 2019. The March 25 ribbon cutting and presentation are free and open for the public to attend. 

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