Gorey's Worlds

September 27–December 21, 2018

This exhibition was organized by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut.

(Scroll to bottom for related public programs. Please note: DOMA will be closed November 22–25 for Thanksgiving Break.)

Peculiar, absurd, mystical, unforgettable, these are the worlds of Edward Gorey (1925-2000), the American artist and author. For more than fifty years, he delighted and amused audiences with his spare pen and ink drawings that illustrated tales of hapless children, kohl-eyed swooning maidens, and whimsical creatures. His theatrical work—not least of which was the opening sequence to PBS’s Mystery!—blended the bizarre and the comic with eloquence, ultimately creating fictions that have endured.

Gorey's Worlds is the first exhibition to explore Gorey's artistic inspiration and is centered on his personal art collection, bequeathed to the Wadsworth Atheneum, the only public institution to receive his legacy. His collection features a diverse array of 19th and 20th century European and American artists including Eugène Atget, Odilon Redon, Bill Traylor, Charles Burchfield, and others as well as examples of folk art.

Gorey's imagery and word-play resonate with audiences of all ages and his legacy is international in scope. His gothic sensibility and whimsical humor continue to influence contemporary culture. Among his aesthetic descendants are filmmaker Tim Burton, author Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket), the rock band Nine Inch Nails, and fashion designer Anna Sui. While his own work has been the subject of exhibitions, Gorey's Worlds offers a fresh perspective on the artist by inviting visitors to step into Gorey’s imagination and viewing the art he collected alongside his own sketches, drawings, prints, and art books. The exhibition presents a unique opportunity to introduce new audiences to Edward Gorey and for existing Gorey admirers to experience his artistic mindset and the visual ecosystem he created.

The exhibition and impressive catalogue have been reviewed in The Wall Street Journal (twice), The New York Review of Books, and The New Yorker. Copies are available for purchase for $35 through DOMA online here; for pickup only, shipping not available.

Visit the Ball State News Center for more information about the exhibition at DOMA.

Without his Clippings

Image: Edward Gorey, “Without his clippings, Jasper now wrote long letters to Ortenzia, which went unanswered.” Illustration for The Blue Aspic. New York: Meredith Press, 1968. Pen and ink on paper. © The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust.

DOMA regularly schedules programs related to current special exhibitions. For Gorey's Worlds, the following events are offered to enhance the enjoyment and appreciation of this blockbuster show.

September 28: Final Friday: LIFE—Enjoy an after-hours look at Gorey's Worlds as well as music, refreshments, presentations, and activities at this free event.

October 3, 4pm: Educator Exhibition Overview (One CEU available for K-12 teachers; $5 or free for BSU affiliates. Space is limited and registration required.)

October 11, 5–8pm: First Person: Curator Erin Monroe on Edward Gorey and Gorey's Worlds

October 21, 2:30pm: Death and Dying Art Tour and Discussion (RSVP to Teresa Kreps, 765-747-3420)

October 26: Final Friday: DEATH—Enjoy an after-hours look at Gorey's Worlds as well as music, refreshments, presentations, and activities at this free event.

October 31, 10am: Strange Gorey Story Time (For ages eight and up. $5 per family; registration required.)

November 10, 2–4pm: Adult Workshop: Drawing from Gorey's Worlds (Two CEUs available for K-12 teachers. $25; $20 for AEAI members and Ball State affiliates; no charge for MCS teachers. Space is limited and registration required.)

November 11, 1:30–4:30pm: Youth Drawing Workshop (For ages 10–15. $30 or $25 for BSU affiliate, $20 for DOMA Friends member. Space is limited and registration required.)

November 17, 3:30pm: Poetry and the Mystery of Gorey (For ages 12 and up. $10 or $5 for BSU affiliate and DOMA Friends member. Space is limited and registration required.)

November 18, 2:30pm: Strange Gorey Story Time (For ages eight and up. $5 per family; registration required.)

The Power of Place: 100 Years of Architecture at Ball State University

September 27–December 21, 2018

(Scroll to bottom for related public programs. Please note: DOMA will be closed November 22–25 for Thanksgiving Break.)

The centennial anniversary brings to light the power of place in shaping the university environment and the student experience. This exhibition examines three key buildings for the teaching of the arts and architecture and their impact on the campus and community. What would become the Ball State campus began in 1899 with a single building, now known as the Frank A. Bracken Administration Building, which offered instruction in all subjects. There was extensive growth from 1923–1929, beginning with Science Hall (known today as Burkhardt Building), followed by Ball Gym, the Library and Assembly Hall, Burris, and Lucina. Over time, the university constructed increasingly specialized, showcased buildings for the arts, including the 1936 Fine Arts Building at the center of the Quad. As the campus expanded northward, the university dedicated a purpose-built structure to house its nationally ranked programs in the College of Architecture and Planning in 1972, followed by an innovative addition in 1980. Take a walk back in time for a glimpse into the university’s architectural transformation that points towards a future of limitless opportunities.

Power of Place image

This exhibition was organized in partnership with Ball State University Libraries and the College of Architecture and Planning.

DOMA regularly schedules programs related to current special exhibitions. For The Power of Place: 100 Years of Architecture at Ball State University, the following events are offered to enhance the enjoyment and appreciation of this centennial show.

September 28: Final Friday: LIFE—Enjoy an after-hours look at DOMA's Fall exhibitions as well as music, refreshments, presentations, and activities at this free event. Rebecca Torsell, archivist for architectural records at Ball State University Libraries and curator of The Power of Place will be a featured presenter.

November 3: Docent-led tour of The Power of Place. Free and open to the public; meet in Sculpture Court, 2:30 p.m.

December 12: DOMA Alliance Luncheon at the Alumni Center featuring Rebecca Torsell, archivist for architectural records at Ball State University Libraries and curator of The Power of Place. Registration required.

Impressions of Love: J. Ottis and Winifred Brady Adams, a Ball State University Centennial Exhibition

January 24–May 19, 2019

The David Owsley Museum of Art commemorates Ball State University’s centennial by celebrating the art and marriage of noted Indiana Impressionist painters John Ottis Adams (1851-1927) and Winifred Brady Adams (1871-1955). The congenial, artistic couple, whose art was fostered and collected by the Ball family, awakened community interest in the visual arts that eventually lead to the founding of the museum. Arousing a regional consciousness, their landscape, still life, and portrait paintings pay homage to the beauty and splendor of the Indiana environs and American small-town life of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

A talented, academically trained painter, Winifred Brady Adams’s career and artistic accomplishments have been overshadowed by her husband’s legacy. Appearing as a footnote in most early Indiana history publications, Winifred finally receives the attention she deserves in this major exhibition and its accompanying catalogue.

A large number of paintings and drawings by both artists has been assembled from significant regional institutions and private collections, including the greatest quantity of works by Winifred Brady Adams ever displayed, many of which have been seldom seen by the public.

John Ottis Adams, American (1851-1927), In Poppyland, 1901, oil on canvas, Frank C. Ball Collection, gift of the Ball Brothers Foundation, 1995.035.040

Past Exhibitions

Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942-1955

February 1 - May 20, 2018

Diebenkorn detail

Organized by the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation in conjunction with the Crocker Art Museum

Curated by Scott Shields, Associate Director and Chief Curator of the Crocker Art Museum

This blockbuster exhibition and its accompanying catalogue* aim to present a comprehensive view of Diebenkorn’s evolution to maturity, focusing solely on the paintings and drawings that precede his 1955 shift to figuration at age 33. Included in the exhibition are paintings and drawings primarily from the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, many of which have never before been publicly exhibited. Together, these 78 drawings and 22 paintings offer a full picture of the young artist’s achievements.

Visit the Ball State News RoomBall State Magazine, and Spring 2018 ARTwords newsletter for additional information and background on this special exhibition.

This exhibition is traveling nationally to the following sites:

Image: Richard Diebenkorn, #2 (Sausalito) (1949), oil on canvas, 45 1/8 x 37 3/8 in. (114.6 x 94.9 cm) © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

Engaging Technology II:  Art + Science

September 28th – December 22nd, 2017

Engaging Technology II

Curated by John Fillwalk, Director IDIA Lab

Engaging Technology II presents a selection of internationally renowned artists who are actively investigating the intersections of the arts and sciences. These explorations include installations, code art, augmented and virtual reality, performance, and human computer interaction. The exhibition explores approaches surrounding Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STE[A]M) as a contemporary investigation of emergent trends.

Throughout the run of the exhibition, a series of invited performances, lectures, and workshops are scheduled on campus and within the community that will enhance the exhibition’s programming and be available to both the University and regional community.

ARTISTS: Casey Raes, Evelina Domnitch, Dmitry Gelfand, Adam Brown, Tristan Perich, Hans Breder, and IDIA Lab

Sponsored by Ball State University's Office of the Provost and the John R. Emens Distinguished Professorship Fund.

With additional programming support from The Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts, Ball State University

Image: Adam Brown, The Great Work of the Metal Lover, mixed media installation, 2012.

Action! The Anatomy of LeRoy Neiman's Champions

September 28th – December 22nd, 2017

LeRoy Neiman

LeRoy Neiman (1921–2012) left his mark on the history of sports art. Even those unfamiliar with his name will know his art by sight: bright pinks, magentas, and greens applied in a fluid, abstract manner to describe action on the football field, on the basketball court, and in the gymnasium. Neiman knew major sports figures as personal friends and, like a wartime photographer, he embedded with the troops. Action! features 74 paintings and drawings that shed new light on Neiman as a master draftsman deeply grounded in the many languages of the graphic arts, as well as in their most basic precept: the ability to capture motion. Athletes and the athletically gifted provided Neiman with source material of which he never tired. This exhibition highlights Neiman’s ability to capture pose and gesture, from Joe Montana preparing a pass or Prince Philip playing polo to dancers contorting their bodies on the street and stage.

Image: LeRoy Neiman, American (1921-2012), Joe Montana, 1989, colored pencil, pastel, spray paint, and felt pen on paper, © LeRoy Neiman Foundation, New York.

New Acquisitions 2017

May 19th - September 10th, 2017

New Acquisitions Exhibit

This exhibition of art for the David Owsley Museum of Art highlights the medium of photography.  The selection showcases a substantial donation of contemporary photographs from a consortium of artists that includes several university professors. The total gift of 42 photographs by 13 artists is part of a much larger philanthropic campaign called The Museum Project. Established in 2012 by Robert von Sternberg and Darryl Curran, The Museum Project has donated more than 5,000 prints to public and university museums across the United States. The David Owsley Museum of Art is honored to join this group’s effort to enrich the photographic collections at American institutions ranging from the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana.

The photos on display represent a wide variety of genres or types, including conceptual, landscape, figural, portrait, and historical subjects by Barry Anderson, Robert Fichter, Kenda North, Sheila Pinkel, Bonnie Schiffman. Robert von Sternberg, Melanie Walker, Todd Walker, and Nancy Webber. In addition to The Museum Project acquisitions, the current exhibition also features two industrial landscapes by Gunther Cartwright, a professor emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology with ties to Muncie. The diversity of these images demonstrates the museum’s commitment to offering examples of a wide range of photographic styles and techniques in its teaching collection.

Barry W. Andersen, American (born 1945), Sheep and Standing Stone Avebury, England, 1995, inkjet print, printed 2017, Gift of The Museum Project, 2016.009.021.

CONTINUUM: The Art of Michael Dunbar in the Sculptural Tradition

September 22–December 19, 2016

Michael Dunbar, Chi Cyclotron

Many contemporary sculptors emphasize their self-conscious break from the art of the past. In contrast, Michael Dunbar acknowledges the roots and continuity of his style from the great masters. The exhibition Continuum: The Art of Michael Dunbar and the Sculptural Tradition, places the artist’s contemporary Machinist Studies series within the context of the history of sculpture of the Beaux-Arts, Realist, Figurative, Cubist, and Modernist styles as represented by exceptional examples from the David Owsley Museum of Art’s collection. Artist Talk planned for September 21.

Image: Michael Dunbar, Chi Cyclotron, 2010, machined and polished bronze, 20.5 x 11.5 x 15 in., Courtesy of the artist.

SHIFT: Jongil Ma, Christopher Smith, Corban Walker

January 20–May 7, 2017

Corban Walker, 129-40 (detail)

Shift. A slight movement. A transition from one gear to another. A period of time in a worker’s day. A movement of the eye from one object to another. An exhibition designed to interpret and challenge our perceptions of self and others as experienced and demonstrated by three artists who work in color, glass and Plexiglas, video, paint, and wood. The artists each test our notions of space, identity, and transparency by investigating the movement of light, movement of substance, and movement through space.

A shift in mood or perspective is at once a subtle, nuanced transition and an abrupt break from what went before. It can be small and it can be dramatic. While issues of identity are often brought to bear in figurative works, Jongil Ma, Christopher Smith, and Corban Walker create in conceptual, abstract ways that alter our viewpoints as we relate to others and the world around us.

SHIFT presents works that explore, through the clear eyes of three artists, how we see and experience space and time as well as physical and emotional realities.

Image: Corban Walker, 129-40 (detail), 2013, acrylic, screw posts, 129 x 129 x 40 cm., © Corban Walker, 2016.

New Acquisitions 2016

May 21st–December 19th, 2016

Edward Fulwider, Casey Jones

This exhibition of recently acquired works of art for the David Owsley Museum of Art highlights the robust growth of the museum’s permanent collection thanks to donations, purchases, and promised gifts on long-term loan. It also manifests our commitment to the universal art museum, one that showcases the artistic heritage of the Midwest, the Americas, and the world.

The new additions feature Old Master prints by Frenchmen Jacques Callot and Jean-Jacques Lagrenée, Pre-Columbian sculpture from the Aztec and Olmec cultures, and works of Jain and Buddhist art from India, China, Tibet, and Thailand. Recent acquisitions also include paintings, prints, and sculpture by American regional masters, such as the Midwestern painter Edwin Fulwider, Indiana sculptor Gary Freeman, and former Ball State University printmaker Ronald Penkoff. In addition, the modern and contemporary art on exhibit originates from across the United States, including works by New York artist Merle Temkin, Midwestern printmaker David F. Driesbach, and the late San Francisco painter and printmaker William Wolff."

Image: Edward Fulwider, Casey Jones, 1936, oil on Masonite(TM), David Owsley Museum of Art, 2015.022.000.

1 in 3: What Does it Take for You to Be Outraged?

January 21–May 8, 2016

1 in 3 logo with hummingbird

World Bank Art Program

The title of the contemporary art exhibition 1 in 3 from the World Bank Art Program derives from a chilling statistic. More than one in three women around the world are beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused during their lifetimes. The exhibition will display photographs, paintings, sculpture, and video created by international, emerging contemporary artists that directly confront gender-based violence (GBV). This is art that makes a difference by raising awareness about a serious global issue with local effects.

With Watercolor: Content via Technique

September 24–December 27, 2015

Watercolor painting

Contemporary Indiana artist Brian Gordy explores the powerful connection between technique and content through a carefully curated selection of masterworks from the rich collection of watercolors at the David Owsley Museum of Art.

His choices emphasize transparency as fundamental to the medium of watercolor, and examine how both famous and less well-known watercolorists have exploited this technique to achieve the most appropriate visual effects for particular subjects. Some of the highlights of the exhibition include stunning displays of light, atmosphere, and sky in works by Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, and Reginald Marsh, as well as examples by less familiar masters of watercolor, such as Alice Baber, Thomas Blackwell, John Lavalle, Hachiro Nakagawa and Millard Sheets.

Gordy notes that his selections “were not driven by the fame of the individual artists or their histories, but from a studio artist’s point of view. The title With Watercolor means that these are works of art that required watercolor as a medium from the very beginning in order to realize the artists’ intentions.”

Unlike most exhibitions that focus on one medium, Gordy will also demonstrate several watercolor techniques during a live, public presentation in the recital Hall on September 24 at 6:30 pm. Visitors are then encouraged to see the show through an artist’s eyes, as they learn to identify different methods across a wide variety of styles. In addition, children and adults are invited to practice painting in a special watercolor studio embedded within the exhibition galleries.

By featuring local artist Gordy as its curator, this exhibition celebrates the wealth of artistic talent resident in Muncie on the occasion of the city’s 150th anniversary. – RGL

Being There

September 24–December 27, 2015

Being There

In Being There, Professor Mark Sawrie explores the concept of human presence and experience in places of palpable ambiance through the medium of photography.  His personal selections from the museum's collection will inspire viewers to develop new interpretations of images both strange and new that represent a wide range of subjects and styles.  The featured photographers include John Divola, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, and Kenji Nakahashi, among others.  

Being There is part of a new series of faculty-curated exhibitions that focus on teaching in the museum.  Our goal is to capture a BSU artist and professor's point of view and to present visitors with a rare opportunity to see the collection through his or her eyes.  In this case, Being There also creates an occasion to familiarize students and the public with the growing collection of photographs at the David Owsley Museum of Art.

Sawrie's selections mirror his beliefs and artistic practice, which encourages students and viewers to observe carefully and focus on the present - without electronic distractions.  In his own words, "You're invited, but please don't bring your smartphone."  He plans to fully integrate the museum's masterworks of photography into his classes this semester through class lectures and a student assignment that requires a reconsideration of a person or character's place within the environment. – RGL

Listening Across Generations: Fractured Narratives Youth Collaboration

May 16, 2015–­August 30, 2015

Children seated on a bench

Listening is something hardly anyone does enough of, but local youth are documenting it as part of a community photography project. When Eric Gottesman, one of the artists in the spring semester exhibition Fractured Narratives: A Strategy to Engage, visited Muncie to talk about his work, he also met with local youths. He listened to them and helped them map where they are heard, who hears them, and where they listen to others. Together, while viewing the exhibition, they discussed what makes a good photograph.

Professor Ruby Cain and her EDAC 698 adult and community education graduate students in the class Cultural Identities and Community Engagement coordinated the participants for the project. These graduate students are working with the staff and listening to the youth of the Boys and Girls Club, Buley Center, Friends of Conley, and Motivate Our Minds.

DOMA is proud to include Listening Across Generations as part of the Muncie Sesquicentennial.

Fractured Narratives: A Strategy to Engage

January 30, 2015–May 3, 2015

Fractured Narratives

The exhibition Fractured Narratives features contemporary art that addresses today’s global issues, including privacy, modern warfare, the environment, and freedom of expression. This selection of film, photography, painting, sculpture, and sound art by famous and emerging artists invites visitors to reflect upon the ambiguities of modern, fragmented accounts. These current intercontinental and cross-cultural stories supplement and enhance the largely historical world art collection at the David Owsley Museum of Art.

In the exhibition catalogue, curators Amy Galpin and Abigail Ross Goodman state that they selected works by artists who “purposefully avoid didactic or direct polemical expression as they take on social, political, or cultural content to create opportunities for a challenging, uncomfortable, and nuanced consideration of their subjects.”

For example, Maya Lin’s delicate sculpture, Silver Thames (2012), represents England’s most precious and fragile river ecosystem. Similarly, Alfredo Jaar’s hypnotically gorgeous film Muxima (2005)—that takes its title from an Angolan folk song that means heart—confronts that country’s legacy of colonialism, war, and AIDS through music and image.

Fractured Narratives draws much of its content from the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. By partnering with the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins, the Owsley brings recent work by international artists to the Ball State community and the city of Muncie. The artists include: Dawoud Bey, Eric Gottesman, Jenny Holzer, Alfredo Jaar, Amar Kanwar, William Kentridge, An-My Lê, Maya Lin, Goshka Macuga, “Moris” Israel Moreno, Rivane Neuenschwander, Trevor Paglen, Sandra Ramos, and Martha Rosler.

“I hope that Fractured Narratives inspires students, faculty, and residents to question and discuss the challenges of our increasingly interconnected world,” says Director Robert G. La France. Throughout the spring semester, the exhibition will be enriched by talks and performances. La France adds, “Although this show is temporary, the illustrated catalog will allow visitors to engage with the exhibition’s art and ideas long after the videos fade to black.” This exhibit and associated programming are supported by the John R. Emens Distinguished Professorship Fund.

Gift of David T. Owsley

May 15–August 30, 2015

Gift of David T. Owsley

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.

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David Owsley Museum of Art

2021 W. Riverside Ave.
Muncie , IN 47306

Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday: 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

765-285-5242

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