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'Women in Uniform' exhibit opens at the Gerald R. Ford Museum

Runs through May 6 at the Gerald R. Ford Museum
Women in Uniform
Posted at 7:02 AM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 09:14:51-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mi. — The roles of women in the military have changed drastically in the last 100 years. From limited nursing opportunities to administration, to the defense industry "Rosie the Riveters" and finally, today, where women have no restrictions, they're even serving on submarines.

Now there's a new opportunity to see a rare collection that depicts the important roles women have played in service throughout American history. It just opened at the Gerald R. Ford Museum.

"When we send men and women off to war, we don't promise that bad things will never happen. But one thing we can promise them is that should bad things happen, we will always be faithful to their stories we will try to get it right and we will try to get it complete. And this is part of telling their story.” Gale Munro is the curator of the Naval Art Gallery. She’s excited to share this exhibit with west Michigan, focused on pieces depicting women and their roles in the military.

"It does start at World War I. It starts with some nurses; it also starts with an oil painting portrait of a Yeoman or a Yeoman F as they call them. Female Yeoman, they did the administrative duties.”

This exhibit is part of the Naval History and Heritage Command's collection - the public rarely gets to see these pieces. "There's a lot of World War II, where women were serving both in uniform and they also took war work jobs for the navy repairing airplanes and such."

As time progressed, so did women's involvement in the Navy. And today they are no longer restricted in their service. Munro says the Navy continues to add to the collection. "It comes to present day I do have two artists that work for me. They go places, they see things they do paintings and one of them did some really nice pictures of women actually they are welders in a machine shop on a ship.”

As the female presence in the Navy continues to expand, this is a great opportunity to see just how far women in uniform have come. "If you've got any interest in military history or how things were back then or even the progress of women if you're interested in feminist history. I think it's a great show, I think everybody should come see it.”

The show runs now through May 6.

Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Sundays from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
(last ticketed entry is 4:00 PM).

Tickets must be purchased online in advance at: []

Guests may purchase a maximum of six (6) tickets. Tickets are good for two hours.
Face coverings are required for all visitors and staff while indoors.

Ticket prices:

$10.00 for adults
$8.00 for senior citizens and military service members
$7.00 for college students with ID
$4.00 for youth ages 6-18
Free for children under the age of 5
Free Parking is Available for all Museum Patrons