East Meets West

If a 6-foot, 700-pound Buddha comes knocking at your door, it’s a good idea to invite him in—especially if he’s 327 years old and in good shape. The David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University did just that.

Benefactor David T. Owsley has loaned the museum a 17th-century Japanese Buddha Amida, a massive bronze sculpture of an important Eastern deity who personifies eternal life, compassion, and boundless light. Once weatherworn, the seated religious icon has been restored by the museum and joins its diverse collection of more than 10,000 works of art.

The 75-year-old museum offers students and the community a firsthand glimpse of ancient, medieval, and modern cultures around the globe.

“We’re in an ever smaller world today, and we need to become familiar with other cultures,” says Peter Blume, director of the museum. “Japan is very important to the world’s economy as well as Indiana and Ball State and the relationships we have there.”