Gift of David T. Owsley
May 15–August 30, 2015
The credit line Gift of David T. Owsley appears on hundreds of labels throughout the museum. Now it is the title of a video documentary directed by graduate student Shane Dresch under the supervision of Professor Robert Brookey, director of the Digital Storytelling Master’s Program in Telecommunications at Ball State. Through a series of candid interviews of faculty, students, and museum supporters, Gift of David T. Owsley describes the namesake’s remarkable donations and their impact on both the university and the city of Muncie. The thirty-minute film also features David T. Owsley explaining his fascination with art, his canny collecting strategies, and his love of beautiful objects. It outlines his long career as curator and patron, including moments from a personal tour of galleries in the museum and his art-filled New York apartment.
Several of David T. Owsley’s most recent gifts were exhibited next to the museum’s screening room, including a handsome eighteenth-century French portrait of a musician painted by Guillaume Voiriot (1713-1799) and a sublime nocturnal harbor scene attributed to the Neapolitan painter Carlo Bonavia (act. 1755-1788). These, and many other works donated by David T. Owsley to Ball State University, the State of Indiana, and the museum that bears his name, continue the legacy of Ball Family beneficence initiated by his maternal grandfather Frank C. Ball and grand-uncles Lucius, William, Edmund, and George.