Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel traveling exhibit coming to Grand Rapids as part of global tour

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The exhibit featuring artist Michelangelo, as seen from Shanghai to Phoenix, Arizona, will be coming to Grand Rapids next week.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition presents one of the best artworks from the artist for guests to experience from a “never-before-seen” perspective.

The exhibit will be on display at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids from May 20 until Sept. 11 for the public to enjoy the work of the renowned artist’s life-sized showcase.

The ceiling paintings from the Sistine Chapel have been reproduced using licensed high-definition photos for the traveling exhibit. The photos are brought to life using a printing technique that emulates the feel of the original paintings.

“This is the largest exhibit that Gerald. R Ford Museum has ever had in its history,” Deputy Director Joel Westphal told MLive/The Grand Rapids Press. “We are excited to bring Rome to Grand Rapids.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased online on the event website for the Grand Rapids stop. The cost is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and veterans and $9 for youth ages 6 to 18. All children ages 5 and under can enter for free.

Deputy Director Joel Westphal said museum officials first heard about the exhibit in 2018 when it started its national tour in Los Angeles. The courier at the time and the exhibit specialist traveled out to California where it was showcased in a large church.

The museum ultimately decided to have the exhibit this summer after postponing plans for a 2020 event due to COVID, according to Westphal. He said the museum settled on a summer installation because of the traffic of patrons who come from all across the country.

“They took a look at it and thought it would look good in our temporary gallery and parts of our lobby,” Westphal said.

For the exhibit, each image is accompanied by signage with informative details, as well as audio guides available to rent for a complete experience of the exhibit.

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