David Owsley Museum of Art

About Our Expansion

“The growth of the physical museum requires a growth in our ambition to engage visitors, building experiences for them to match our new size.”
—Carl Schafer, Interim Director of the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University

With more space and new interpretations of our collection, the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University completed an expansion in September 2013, increasing the gallery space by nearly 50 percent. 

Funded by more than $4 million in private gifts, the expansion adds four new galleries at the east and west ends of the Fine Arts Building. The new east wing is home to the Asian galleries, which feature Indian, Chinese, and Japanese art. The west wing houses art from African and Pacific Island cultures and art from Native American, Mesoamerican, and South American cultures. The expansion allows gallery space for these world cultures to nearly triple, from 1,300 square feet to 3,700 square feet.

The diversity of non-Western art at the museum has been made possible in large part by David T. Owsley, grandson of Frank C. Ball, who was instrumental in founding the museum in the 1930s. Owsley is an art historian and active collector. He began making gifts to the museum in the 1960s and since then has provided more than 2,300 works of art to the collection. His curiosity and his generosity can be seen throughout the museum that bears his name.

To learn more about the expansion, read the following interviews with some of the people who have played an instrumental role throughout the process:

Charles Froom,
lead designer
Myriam Springuel,
interpretive planner
Davira S. Taragin,
evaluator of the decorative arts and design collection
Charles Froom interview PDF
Myriam Springuel interview PDF
Davira S. Taragin interview PDF