Meditation in the Museum

Graphic by: Emily Sabens, Public Relations Intern



Work of the Week: Man

Written by: Emily Sabens, Public Relations Intern

It’s often said that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

However, no one takes that mantra as seriously as artist Leo Sewell.

Sewell grew up near a dump. He would often find pieces of trash and take them back to his home, playing and experimenting with the objects.

This childhood pastime would later turn into his career.

For the past 50 years, Sewell has made sculptures out of various pieces of “junk.” He searches the streets of Philadelphia, where he lives, looking for interesting objects he can incorporate into his artwork. In his workshop, he currently holds more than 100,000 unique objects, from corn holders to gold-plated shark teeth.

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Sewell’s works are featured in numerous institutions across the country – including a stegosaurus at the American Visionary Art Museum, a duck at the Fuller Craft Museum and even a 12-foot-tall dinosaur at the one and only Garbage Museum. His art was even featured on the show “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.”

Here at the David Owsley Museum of Art, you can see one of Sewell’s amazing works for yourself. “Man,” created around 1970, is comprised of a variety of carefully selected objects. Mass media images, children’s toys and scraps of metal all come together to form an anatomically correct man.


“Man” is considered to be part of the 1960s Pop Art movement, which used media and everyday objects to reflect the 20th century rise in consumer culture.

Plan a visit to DOMA to see one of Sewell’s innovative works for yourself. “Man” is located upstairs in the Ball Brothers Foundation Gallery.

7 Famous Artists You Didn’t Know Were in Our Collection

Written by: Emily Sabens, Public Relations Intern

At the David Owsley Museum of Art, we have over 1,000 works of art on display. But what many do not know is that we actually house over 11,000 artworks in our collection––many of which were created by some of the world’s most well-known artists. 

1. Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper is one of the most popular American realist painters. Hopper’s works are known for depicting urban life in the U.S., often showing how individuals can feel isolated in a huge city. He is best-known for his work “Nighthawks”––which portrays a downtown diner late at night.

One of Hopper’s works resides in the DOMA collection: “East Side Interior” is an engraving made by Hopper in 1922.

Edward Hopper. Nighthawks, 1942. Friends of American Art Collection. Photo provided by The Art Institute of Chicago on Facebook
Edward Hopper. East Side Interior, 1922. Engraving. 13 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches. David Owsley Museum of Art. 1995.036.030

2.  Pablo Picasso

Often cited as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso was a radical artist who co-founded the Cubist movement. He often reinvented himself, switching between styles and mediums. Today, his works are on display at The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Art Institute of Chicago.

At DOMA, we currently have six prints from Picasso, including “Boy and Sleeping Woman by Candlelight.”

Pablo Picasso. The Old Guitarist, late 1903–early 1904. Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection. © 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo provided by The Art Institute of Chicago on Facebook
Pablo Picasso. Boy and Sleeping Woman by Candlelight, 1934. Etching and aquatint on laid paper. 13 3/8 x 17 5/8 inches. David Owsley Museum of Art. 1967.006.001

3. Francisco de Goya

Francisco de Goya is one of the globe’s most well-known Spanish artists. His paintings and drawings often depict historical events and offer his critiques of the government. Goya’s works are housed today in museums across the world, including the Museo Nacional Del Prado, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Here at DOMA, we house “Well-known Folly – that Guerrero!,” which was produced by Goya in 1816.

Francisco de Goya. La nevada o El Invierno, 1786. Photo provided by the Museo Nacional del Prado on Facebook
Francisco de Goya. Well-known Folly – that Guerrero!, 1816. 11 3/4 x 16 15/16 inches. David Owsley Museum of Art. 1964.006.008

4. Grant Wood

Grant Wood is one of America’s most recognized artists. Born and raised in Iowa, Wood’s works often featured life in the Midwest. His most famous painting, “American Gothic,” has become an art icon. Showing a couple (his sister and his dentist, surprisingly, were actually the ones who posed for him) in front of a quaint farmhouse in Iowa, the work resides in The Art Institute of Chicago.

One of Grant Wood’s works calls DOMA its home: “Tree Planting Group” is a lithograph produced by Wood in 1937.

Grant Wood. American Gothic, 1930. Friends of American Art Collection. Photo provided by The Art Institute of Chicago on Facebook
Grant Wood. Tree Planting Group, 1937. Lithograph. 8 3/8 x 10 7/8 inches. David Owsley Museum of Art. 2005.043.034

5. Jackson Pollock

Considered a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement, Jackson Pollock was an artist best-known for his use of drip painting. Today, his paintings are housed in multiple museums across the globe, including in The Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian and the Guggenheim.

While DOMA is best-known for housing “Right Bird Left,” a painting by artist Lee Krasner, who was married to Jackson Pollock for 11 years before his death following a car accident, we do own a piece of his art, as well––an untitled engraving made in 1944 and then printed in 1967.

Jackson Pollock. Gothic, 1944. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Modern Art. Photo provided by The Museum of Modern Art on Facebook
Jackson Pollock. Untitled, engraved about 1944; printed posthumously 1967. Engraving and drypoint on cream wove paper. 14 5/8 x 17 3/4 inches. David Owsley Museum of Art. 1971.028.000

6. Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí is one of the most unusual yet celebrated artists of all time. Dalí often took risks with his art––which paid off. He created paintings and sculptures that were highly imaginative and often featured dreamlike scenes. His most famous work, “The Persistence of Memory,” is located in the Museum of Modern Art.

At DOMA, we own a collection of tiles that was designed by Dalí. Produced in 1944, the tiles are currently on display in the John J. and Angeline Pruis Gallery upstairs.

Salvador Dalí. The Persistence of Memory, 1931. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Modern Art. Photo provided by The Museum of Modern Art on Facebook.
Salvador Dalí (Designer); ADEX (Producer); El Siglo (Producer). Decorative Tile: Le Soleil Végétal, 1954. Glazed ceramic tile. 7.88 x 7.88 inches. David Owsley Museum of Art. 2013.006.001

7. Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder is an American sculptor who is often credited with inventing the mobile. Although he studied mechanical engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Calder’s true love was art. He went on to become extremely successful, incorporating movement into his works––something that had never been done before. He is best-known for “Cirque Calder,” a miniature-sized circus that includes dozens of movable features. 

Calder’s works are featured in numerous museums across the country, including the Whitney Museum, The Museum of Modern Art and at The Art Institute of Chicago. You can also find one of Calder’s mobiles right here at DOMA. Titled “Three Worms and a New Moon,” this mobile hangs from the ceiling in the middle of the Ball Brothers Foundation Gallery.

Alexander Calder. Cirque Calder, 1931. Wire. Whitney Museum. Photo provided by the Providence Children’s Film Festival on Facebook
Alexander Calder. Three Worms and A New Moon, 1949. Steel, aluminum, oil paint. 30 x 50 inches. David Owsley Museum of Art. 1950.196.000

Work of the Week: City Life

Written by: Taylor Henderson, Exhibition Design Intern

In the following week Black History Month will be ending in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Perhaps you and your friends have either done something this month to show solidarity or learned something new about African-American culture and iconic figures. Even going to see “Black Panther” in theaters helps by supporting representation of African-Americans in the film industry. But if you’re looking for even more for your mind to chew on, DOMA can help.

Joseph Delaney. City Life, 1938. Oil on canvas. 21.38 x 14.38 inches. David Owsley Museum of Art. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Harper. 2010.021.003

The featured painting this month was “City Life” by Joseph Delaney. Delaney was born in 1904 in Knoxville, Tennessee. During the years of the Great Depression, Delaney made his way to New York City where he established himself as an artist. He is most known for his scenes depicting the Harlem Renaissance.

“City Life” is one such work. The artwork, painted in 1938, depicts a pedestrian street scene at New York’s famous Times Square. It shows both the vibrancy of urban life and an intermingling of different peoples. The Harlem Renaissance (during the time also referred to as the New Negro Movement) was also a pivotal time for black people in America, and New York City was its mecca. Delaney captured this zeitgeist using a new artistic originality, which led to his almost immediate recognition as an esteemed artist.

In 1986, Joseph Delaney returned to Tennessee to become an artist-in-residence at the University of Tennessee, where he lived until his death in 1991. His art has been shown at The Art Institute of Chicago, Knoxville Museum of Art, Museum of the City of New York, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and of course the David Owsley Museum of Art (among others).

As with many artists it’s an honor to display their work, and it is no exception with Delaney. The museum encourages you to take the time and visit City Life before the month ends.


Delaney, Joseph. City Life. 1938, David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. Staff. “Harlem Renaissance.”, A&E Television Networks, 2009, www.

“Joseph Delaney.” David Owsley Museum of Art Collection, University Libraries Digital Media Repository,

“Joseph Delaney (Artist).” Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia, Wikipedia Foundation, Inc., 30 Nov. 2017, 13:02,


Work of the Week: Stele of Shiva as Bhairava

By: Emily Sabens, Public Relations Intern

In Hinduism, there are three main gods. The first is Brahma, who is the creator of the universe. Second is Vishnu, who protects and preserves the globe. And the third is Shiva, whose role is to destroy the world in order to recreate it.

While Shiva’s actions may sound paradoxical, Hindus say this destruction is constructive. They believe Shiva’s ability to demolish then rebuild is used to destroy all of the imperfections in the world.

Shiva is both good and evil, according to the Hindus. He does good in the world; but he can also become angry and transform into Bhairava, his angry manifestation.

Unidentified artist. Stele of Shiva as Bhairava, 1200–1299. Metabasalt. 52 3/8 x 26 x 10 inches. David Owsley Museum of Art. Gift of David T. Owsley. 1986.039.003

“Stele of Shiva as Bhairava” shows Shiva as his alter ego, Bhairava. This sculpture depicts a time when Shiva was angry with Brahma—so he decided to cut off one of Brahma’s five heads (which you can see in Bhairava’s left hand).

The god holds a variety of items in his hands. A trident. A sword. A bow. A knife. A drum. A scourge. While this assortment of items may seem random, they all are associated with war. His dog also accompanies him, but this isn’t your typical pup. Rather his canine scavenges for human remains in crematories.

While Bhairava is depicted nude, he does wear some accessories. A garland of skulls hangs around his neck. His headdress, too, is crafted of skulls as well as snakes.

Bhairava seems to be extremely frightening and intimidating in this sculpture. Despite this, the figure appears attractive and even seductive, posing in the tribhanga pose—a body stance often used in Indian sculptures to indicate grace and enticement.

Visit the David Owsley Museum of Art today to see “Stele of Shiva as Bhairava,” located downstairs in the Frank and Rosemary Ball Gallery.