During the summer of 2021, the David Owsley Museum of Art presents The Sistine Chapel Trilogy, a three-volume publication with color plates of every painting in the chapel, including several details reproduced at actual size. Measuring 24 by 17 inches and weighing 75 pounds, the 822 pages feature foldouts as large as 62 inches across. Bound in silk and calfskin in northern Italy by the only bindery in the world that produces books of this size, only 600 copies were printed in English. 

In order to create the illustrations, a team of photographers spent 67 nights on scaffolding, documenting every square centimeter of decoration in the chapel, including the famous frescoes by Michelangelo, but also those by his predecessors Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Perugino, and others. In all, the team stitched together 270,000 high-resolution images that capture every hue, line, brushstroke, and crack in the plaster. The trilogy represents the connection between traditional craftsmanship, artistic creation, and the latest digital technology.

Changing displays of the open volumes will be on exhibit in the Brown Study Room. Reservations for special viewings, accompanied by an art handler to turn the large pages, can be arranged by contacting artmuseum@bsu.edu or by calling (765) 285-5242.

The presentation of The Sistine Chapel Trilogy is made possible by a gift from the museum’s generous patron, Ann M. Stack. The volumes will remain at the museum and available to students and researchers upon request.

detailed image from The Sistine Chapel paintings

Michelangelo, scenes from the Book of Genesis, The Creation of Adam. Detail of the face of God. © Vatican Museum

Memories and Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art

September 23 – December 22, 2021 

The traveling exhibition Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art presents more than sixty works selected from a body of art amassed over 35 years by a working-class couple. Kerry, a retired mailman, and Betty, a former television news producer, gave up many ordinary comforts in order to live with extraordinary paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures as their principal luxuries. Their collection includes works by Romare Bearden, Beverly Buchanan, Elizabeth Catlett, Sam Gilliam, Loïs Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Gordon Parks, Alma Thomas, and Charles White, but Kerry and Betty do not search exclusively for well-known and/or documented artists. Rather, they focus on the more meaningful task of gathering and preserving a range of artistic approaches to the Black image, in order to console the psyche and contribute to a more authentic articulation of the self.

The result is an eclectic gathering of works of art crossing different mediums, subjects, and styles by a group of artists of the African Diaspora who—in terms of training, experience, and expression—are strikingly diverse but unified in their use of cultural and historical narratives. As their collection has grown, so has the Davises' storehouse of memories of discovering new works of art, building friendships with artists, and conversing with museum professionals and other collectors in their home. Memories & Inspiration brings together an awe-inspiring selection of works, but it is their personal resonance—their connection to the Davises’ hopes, passions, and everyday lives—that gives the collection its unique power.

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art was organized and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC

International Arts and Artists logo

Support for the exhibition and related educational and outreach programs has been made possible with funding from ArtsAlive!, the College of Fine Arts, Ball State University and the Friends of the David Owsley Museum of Art. 

graphite drawing by Yashua Klos

Image: Yashua Klos, Coby, graphite. Photograph by Gregory Staley. © 2018 Yashua Klos.

The David Owsley Museum of Art proudly hosts engaging exhibitions from across the globe for our University community and other diverse audiences to enjoy. Take a look at our past exhibits to see what we've historically displayed.

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David Owsley Museum of Art

2021 W. Riverside Avenue
Muncie , IN 47306

9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (Tuesday–Friday)
1:30–4:30 p.m. (Saturday)


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