Ball State’s David Owsley Museum of Art Showcases Textiles from Asia in New Special Exhibition

Installation shot of Fibers of Being: Textiles from Asia in the David Owsley Museum of Art's Collection. Savannah Calhoun, photographer.Installation shot of Fibers of Being: Textiles from Asia in the David Owsley Museum of Art's Collection. Savannah Calhoun, photographer.

By Rachel Buckmaster—

MUNCIE, Indiana – The David Owsley Museum of Art (DOMA) at Ball State University is presenting its first show featuring textiles from across Asia. This special exhibition will be on display through Dec. 21, 2023. 

Fibers of Being: Textiles from Asia in the David Owsley Museum of Art’s Collection explores the layered meanings of textiles translocated from Asia to the United States as they cross geographical, cultural, and temporal boundaries. Many garments and accessories in the show have not been on display for public viewing since the 1930s.

Works in the exhibition include a silk embroidered woman’s coat, collar, and skirt from China; remnants of Buddhist priests’ robes and a woman’s outer-kimono from Japan; a cotton batik headwrap from Java; painted textiles created in Bali that feature characters from the Hindu epicRamayana; a silk and gauze Chinese dragon robe; and a Hmong quilted appliqué story cloth.

“This exhibition offers visitors a rare chance to view these exquisite pieces that, because of their fragility and sensitivity to light, can only be displayed for a limited time,” said Dr. Noelle Giuffrida, DOMA’s associate curator of Asian art. “I encourage visitors to discover how textiles tell stories about the cultural traditions and social lives of makers and wearers across Asia.”

Fibers of Being was curated by Dr. Giuffrida in collaboration with student curatorial interns Cydney Davidson, ‘23; Gabriela Henderson, ‘23; Natalia Latham, ‘23; Kennedy Moore, ‘26; and Lea Stouder, ‘23.

DOMA is located at 2021 W. Riverside Ave., in Ball State’s Fine Arts Building. The museum is open to the public 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Saturdays. There is no admission fee.

Visit DOMA’s website for information on related programs and events—including a Nov. 8 public workshop that explores sashiko, the Japanese art of hand embroidery.


About the David Owsley Museum of Art 

2021 W. Riverside Avenue, Muncie, Indiana 

Free and open to the public, the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University houses a world art collection with more than 11,000 original works representing all seven continents. DOMA cultivates lifelong learning and recreation in the visual arts through exciting interdisciplinary art exhibitions with engaging displays of the permanent collection in an educational environment that serves both the University and the East Central Indiana region. DOMA’s website.

Visitor hours: Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. 

DOMA is in the Fine Arts Building on the northern side of Ball State University’s Quad. Parking is available at the McKinley Avenue Parking Garage, and MITS bus stops are nearby. For more information, contact the museum: 765-285-5242 or email