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David Owsley Museum of Art: 83-year history and 11,000 piece collection

July 5, 2018 | In the Press

From The Daily News (http://www.ballstatedaily.com/article/2018/07/news-david-owsley-museum-of-art-centennial)

One of four university art museums in Indiana, The David Owsley Art Museum (DOMA) has around 1,000 of its 11,000-piece collection on display for students to see for free.  

The Fine Arts Building opened in 1935 to hold the collection and still houses it to this day. The building was renamed the Ball State University Museum of Art in 1991, and was later renamed the David Owsley Museum of Art after the grandson of Frank C. Ball who donated more than 2,300 works of art to the museum.

Throughout the years the museum has gone through considerable renovations, including an $8.5 million dollar project which added 5,230 square feet to the building, doubling the number of works displayed. There was an additional multimillion dollar renovation in 2013, increasing gallery space by 50 percent.

DOMA’s art collection has been growing since 1892 after the Museum Art Students League was formed.

After the creation of the Indiana State Normal School Eastern Division, the collection was moved to the school and was housed in what would become the Teachers College. Later, it was moved to the North Quadrangle Library and eventually found its home in the Fine Arts building. 

The museum's collection has pieces from many different eras including ancient, medieval, Renaissance and modern, through many different mediums including drawings, prints, paintings, photographs and sculptures. 

Perhaps one of the most famous works of art in the museum is the Amida Buddha, which is found in the Asia section of the museum. The Amida Buddha was created by Master Tokewaki in 1680, which falls in the Edo period. 

Along with its numerous art galleries, the museum also offers tours and hosts events throughout the year including Art in Bloom, DOMA Final Fridays, Meditation in the Museum and various lectures.

The museum also encourages educational visits like object viewing for university classes and programs for K-12 students.

Many pieces in the museum's collection can actually be viewed in the Digital Media Repository.

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