As the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University wraps up its 75th anniversary year, it seems only fitting to publish a book commemorating the occasion. The Ball State University Museum of Art at 75: The Museum and a History of Its Collection features 120 full-color photographs as well as a comprehensive history of the museum.
“The substance of the book is the evolution of the museum through several different missions, beginning in 1935 up to the present,” says Director Peter Blume, author of the historical essay in the publication. “It’s also the story of the people who were transformative in the development of the collection.”
In his essay, Blume writes that while art and art collecting are barely mentioned in official histories of the Ball family, the truth is the scale of Frank C. Ball’s art collection was considerable, and the museum itself, which started as the Art Gallery, was made possible by a gift from the Ball family.
While the Ball name is a significant thread that runs through the history of the museum, other historical moments are also considered, from the 1991 change in name from the Art Gallery to the Museum of Art, as well as the changes in leadership over the years and how that would impact the formation of the collection.
Focusing on the things that have gone into making the museum what it is today, the historical essay lends itself naturally to photographs of works from the collection.
“This is the first time we have taken the collection and really tried to capture its character,” says Associate Director Carl Schafer. “This book is lavishly illustrated with gorgeous photographs that do just that.”
The Ball State University Museum of Art at 75 can be purchased at the museum. Call 765-285-5242 for more information.