Topic: College of Fine Arts

October 8, 2020

screen grab of online collection at David Owsley Museum of Art

The David Owsley Museum of Art (DOMA) has been a source of both education and enjoyment on the Ball State University campus for decades. Now the museum is sharing the wealth of its collection online.

Visitors can view many of their favorite works of art and learn about others by using DOMA’s collection search page. The online collection allows guests to browse an initial catalogue of more than 1,000 objects from the museum’s collection.

The site is continually updated with new information and additional works of art from the museum’s permanent collection of more than 11,000 works from six continents representing 5,000 years of civilization.

Through its custom search page, DOMA is now able to share its art collection with students, researchers, other art museums, and art lovers both locally and globally.

The new online collection was made possible by a grant from the Ball Brothers Foundation (BBF) and the Class of 1935 Endowment in support of widening the museum’s public reach.

“Ball Brothers Foundation was proud to support the effort to make the museum’s collection accessible to virtual visitors from across the globe,” said Jud Fisher, BBF President & COO.

“It is rare for a city our size to have such a world-class collection of art and digitizing the collection will reinforce Muncie as a center of arts and culture in the Midwest and beyond,” said Fisher. “We are grateful to the DOMA team for their hard work to make this project possible.”

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, viewers can browse through a number of portfolios of thematically selected works, such as landscapes or portraits. They can search more specifically by artist, medium, and century, among others, as well as a search feature at the top of each page where terms such as “furniture” and “African” yield quick results.

“The online collection is the fruit of a greater effort to update the museum’s digital foundation through a new collection management system, which makes images and data about the museum’s treasures available for educational purposes,” said Robert La France, DOMA’s director.

“At the moment, nearly all works of art on display in the galleries can be viewed online and we look forward to expanding the selection to include art in storage.”

DOMA has continued to grow since its home, the Fine Arts Building, was opened in 1935. The museum was renamed the David Owsley Museum of Art in 2011, in honor of his generous gifts. In 2013, the museum went through another multimillion-dollar renovation, increasing its gallery space by almost 50 percent.

DOMA’s current exhibition, 20/20: Twenty Women Artists of the Twentieth Century, runs through December 20 and presents a selection of paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture, and architectural drawings from the museum’s collection, along with loans from Ball State’s Andrew Seager Archive of the Built Environment. Read more about the exhibition, or visit DOMA's collection database for a closer look at works that are included.