© 2016 American Physical Society. Low-spin states in the neutron-rich, N=90 nuclide Ba146 were populated following β decay of Cs146, with the goal of clarifying the development of deformation in barium isotopes through delineation of their nonyrast structures. Fission fragments of Cs146 were extracted from a 1.7-Ci Cf252 source and mass selected using the CAlifornium Rare Ion Breeder Upgrade (CARIBU) facility. Low-energy ions were deposited at the center of a box of thin β detectors, surrounded by a highly efficient high-purity Ge array. The new Ba146 decay scheme now contains 31 excited levels extending up to ∼2.5 MeV excitation energy, double what was previously known. These data are compared to predictions from the interacting boson approximation (IBA) model. It appears that the abrupt shape change found at N=90 in Sm and Gd is much more gradual in Ba and Ce, due to an enhanced role of the γ degree of freedom.