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
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