To enhance your visit, we provide educational guidance and resources for your use with the collection and special exhibitions, such as a guide for writing in the museum.
To view a collection of previous exhibitions, please visit our exhibitions archive.
In the 1890s, Paris was awash in a creative explosion of color.
Every wall, fence, and lamppost was plastered with vibrant advertising posters made available by low-cost color lithographic printing. The result was near hysteria, and posters were stolen nearly as quickly as they could be put up.
In August, the David Owsley Museum of Art will unveil a collection of posters from France, Great Britain, and Russia that exemplify the craze in an aptly titled exhibition—"Affichomainie/Postermania."
“Here we have an unexpected confluence of events that changed the way we view the world,” says Interim Director Carl Schafer.
“We have an artistic medium that allows the unlimited reproduction of images. With these advertising posters, people would see the same faces over and over again. This created a cult of celebrity, and with it, we see the beginnings of modern popular culture.”
While up to 2,000 prints may have been made of a poster for commercial use, fewer survive today. The posters were meant to serve as outdoor advertising and were exposed to the elements.
“Astute critics of the period immediately recognized the vitality of the images installed on the streets of Paris that were, for a time, available for all to see,” Schafer says.
While many were stolen, collectors later began to buy them directly from print dealers. The posters found in museums today are those that made their way into private collections.
The exhibition will include masterpieces from Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha, and Pierre Bonnard, among others.
An exhibition by a Danish ceramicist titled "Anders Ruhwald: One Thing Follows Another (and You Make It Happen)," will be on display at the David Owsley Museum of Art this fall.
The exhibition features work developed in collaboration with faculty and students from the Ball State University’s Marilyn K. Glick Center for Glass as well as artists from Cranbrook Academy of Art, where Ruhwald is the head of the ceramics department and artist in residence.
Ruhwald served as artist in residence at Ball State when he worked with faculty and students at the Glick Center in May. Davira S. Taragin, consultative curative of decorative arts for the museum and curator of the exhibition, says Ruhwald was the ideal choice.
“He knew a lot about glasswork and glassmaking, but he himself had never been directly involved in it.”
Ruhwald admits he has little experience working in glass.
“The concept is about translations, communications, and authorships,” Ruhwald says. “It’s about how forms make sense through various materials and through a range of people’s hands.”
Through a three room exhibition, visitors will experience the similar shapes of the works rendered in different materials. The objects are similar—Ruhwald describes them as upright cylinders or cones that can be broken down into geometric forms—but the artists from Cranbrook expressed the work in wood, while the artists from Ball State crafted the forms in glass. All are based on the original work Ruhwald first produced in clay.
What does the artist hope visitors get from the exhibition?
"There isn’t a checklist of ideas to get from the show,” Ruhwald says. “It’s an experience of objects from the perspective of whoever may be looking at them.”
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