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The David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, will exhibit Memories and Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Artfrom September 23 to December 22, 2021.

Memories and Inspiration features over 60 works selected from a body of art accumulated over 35 years by Kerry and C. Betty Davis. Their collection includes works by Romare Bearden, Beverly Buchanan, Elizabeth Catlett, Ernest T. Crichlow, Sam Gilliam, Loïs Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Gordon Parks, Alma Thomas and Charles White.

Kerry, a retired postman, and Betty, a former television news producer, sacrificed many comforts to live with extraordinary paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. The result of their sacrifices is an eclectic collection of pieces, in various mediums and of different subjects and styles, by a diverse group of artists from the African diaspora. These artists – in terms of training, experience and expression – are unified in their use of cultural and historical narratives.

This special exhibition has been made possible through the support of the Friends of the David Owsley Museum of Art; Arts Alive, presented by the College of Fine Arts; and the Ball State University College of Fine Arts Sursa Fund.

Memories and Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art was curated and filmed by International Arts & Artists in Washington, D.C.

The David Owsley Museum of Art grants permission to use images from the exhibition for the timely publication of the exhibition under the following conditions:

  • Artwork will not be cropped, detailed, overprinted, or altered; and
  • Each work will be fully credited with the captions provided in the PDF also on file.

About the David Owsley Art Museum

Free and open to the public, the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University houses a global art collection with more than 11,000 works from Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, Europe, and the Americas. DOMA cultivates lifelong learning and recreation in the visual arts through exciting interdisciplinary art exhibits with engaging exhibits from the permanent collection in an educational environment that serves both the university and the region of east-central Indiana.

  • Website:
  • Location: 2021 W. Riverside Avenue, Muncie, Indiana
  • Visiting times: Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm; Saturday, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

About the Davis Collection

Kerry Davis, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is a former United States Air Force Sergeant, retired United States Postal Service carrier, and ordained deacon. He began collecting in the mid-1980s in partnership with his wife, Betty, who shared his passion for art. Originally started with the modest goal of improving the interior design of their mid-century two-level home in suburban Atlanta, the Davises’ collection has grown to over 300 works by some of the most popular Afro artists. -the most distinguished Americans of the 20th century.

Inspired by previous generations of African American art collectors, who understood the importance of preserving cultural expression, memory and imagery, Davis sought to contribute to this legacy and be a source of inspiration. for other members of the community. The Davis Residence, dubbed the “home museum” by neighbors, parishioners and visiting friends, serves as a meeting place and cultural center for artists, collectors and art lovers. Kerry and Betty have two children and a granddaughter.

International arts and artists in Washington, DC, is a nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally, through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, institutions artists and the public. Visit

About the state of the ball

Founded in 1918 and located in Muncie, Ball State University is one of Indiana’s premier universities and an economic engine for the state. Ball State’s 21,600 students come from all over Indiana, the country, and the world. The 790-acre campus is large enough to accommodate top-notch facilities and 19 NCAA Division I sports, but our welcoming and inclusive campus is small enough to provide the friendliness, personal attention and access that characterizes the University. Destination 2040: Our flight path establishes Ball State’s ambitious goals for our second century. We want!

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