At Grand Rapids airport, a model airplane designed by Alexander Calder has been found new home

At Grand Rapids airport, a model airplane designed by Alexander Calder has been found new home ...

GRAND RAPIDS, MI A model airplane hand-painted by artist and sculptor Alexander Calder has redeveloped a new home at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

Calder, who has been dubbed "Flying Colors of the United States," designed and painted the model airplane with a 74-inch wingspan in honor of the United States Bicentennial.

The interior of the airport, which received the artwork in 1975, has been preserved. The city of Grand Rapids, which received the sculpture, has now been loaned it to Ford Airport.

We are extremely pleased to announce a second Calder piece for our expanding collection, which underscores our commitment to preserve the history of our community as well as highlight its public art, said Tory Richardson, the president and CEO of Ford Airport.

"We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with the city of Grand Rapids to showcase this stunning sculpture, which is a welcome addition to our entrance hall. We are honored to host Flying Colors at the Ford International Airport. "

Grand Rapids kept the work on display on the first floor of City Hall at 300 Monroe Ave. NW prior to the relocation to Ford Airport.

Calder is perhaps the best known for the iconic "La Grande Vitesse" public sculpture located outside of Grand Rapids City Hall in West Michigan. It is better known to residents as "The Calder," but the city also changed its image into its logo.

We appreciate our partnership with the Ford International Airport, which has graciously provided a wonderful new home so Flying Colors can be seen and appreciated by everyone.

When the plane was dedicated in November 1975, the design of the "Flying Colors of the United States" was recreated on a Boeing 727, with First Lady Betty Ford presiding over the ceremony in Washington, D.C.

After the airplane carrying the recreated design was sent to Grand Rapids in 1975, the model was commissioned by Braniff International Airways.

In 2019, the airport's Art Committee and the city of Cambridge worked to develop an appropriate display for the works.

The COVID-19 epidemic slowed the process for over a year. It was then resumed in March 2021.

On the west end of the entrance hall, a display case and the "Flying Colors of the United States" work are shown. A painted wooden model of La Grande Vitesse is displayed.

It is such a pleasure to welcome Flying Colors to the Ford International Airport, said Dan Koorndyk, chairman of the Airport Authority board. President Ford and the First Lady were well-known for their dedication to the arts, which assisted in creating pieces that would serve as our communitys focal point, as well as for true community pride.

"They both recognized the importance of having art interwoven throughout the community for the enjoyment of all." We are very pleased that Ford International Airport is now home to two such notable pieces of Calder art."

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