The Agung Rai Museum of Art in Ubud offers a whole gamut of Balinese creativity and art. Not only does it showcase a range of paintings such as the classic Kamasan style paintings and those by Walter Spies and Adrien Le-Mayeur, but also offers art workshops and traditional dance performances for visitors. This is one museum where you don't just see the history, but experience it too!
Gedong Arca museum is an archaeological museum located in Bedulu. It features a variety of artefacts and ornaments- from sandstone sarcophagi to Chinese ceramics and stone carvings. The museum displays archaeological finds dating back to 300 BC, and guides are available to deepen your understanding of the historical and cultural significance of the exhibits. A must-visit for history buffs travelling around Bali.
Located in Mengwi in West Bali, Manusa Yadnya or the 'Ritual of Human" museum documents just that- the rituals performed by the locals during the cycle of human life. Right from the cermonies performed at birth to burial ceremonies, the museum exhibits the materials and tools needed for all of them. A visit here offers an engaging glimpse into the Balinese way of life.
The Blanco Renaissance Museum is the palatial home-cum-studio of the famous artist Don Antonio Blanco. Located on a hilltop in Ubud that overlooks the Campuhan river, the museum displays various artworks of Blanco and his son Mario. The eccentri artist was of Spanish origin and was captivatedby the naked female figure, both of which influenced his paintings.
Museum Semarajaya is located in Klungkung, Bali and exhibits a variety of artefacts such as the gold-woven songket cloth and photographs of the Kingdom of Klungkung. The musuem also houses a grand collection of paintings and statues by Emilio Ambron and has on display the traditional salt-making process of Bali, which makes this museum a fascinating place to visit.
A must visit for families on vacation, Dream Museum Zone in Legian is a fun and interactive 3D art gallery. Using colours and light to create illusions, the gallery lets you take quirky photographs to take back the memories. Paintings that give an unusual twist to classics such as Van Gogh and Mona Lisa add to the fun.
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Located in downtown Singaraja, the Buleleng museum houses a vast collection of artefacts and relics for the history-buff. Mostly comprising of objects that belonged to the King of Buleleng, the museum displays about 23 traditional tools and 37 relics in addition to the various sarcophagi, paintings and weapons. The exhibits date back to the 8th century, making this an extremely interesting attraction.
If volcanoes fascinate you, the Batur Geopark museum in Bali is not to be missed. With models accompanied by interactive displays and rock samples, the geology of Mt.Batur and the workings of a volcano are brought to life. A UNESCO project, this museum is best enjoyed with your kids while exploring Bangli.
The prime museum for Balinese Culture, Museum Negeri Propinsi in Bali is the island's central museum located in its provincial capital Denpasar. Housing over 10,000 artworks, the museum has a variety of pieces on display- from prehistoric stone sarcophagi to dance costumes and masks, making it a comprehensive collection of the island's heritage.
Established by Balinese art-lover Sujata Neka, the Neka art museum displays a wide array of wayang and Ubud-style paintings, sculptures, Keris daggers and photographs from the 1930s to contemporary times. The museum features the work of both indigenous and local artists, incorporating a variety of influences on Balinese art and showcasing the evolution of painting styles in the country through the decades.
The Beachwalk Mall at Kuta Beach houses the beautiful Museum Kain on its top floor, a homage to the Batik fabric culture of Indonesia since the 19th century. Owned by a private Batik collector, the museum offers interactive screens and workshops to deconstruct the designs, and is ideal for tourists interested in the handicraft history of Indonesia.
A prominent attraction of Yogyakarta, the De Arca museum exhibits carefully sculpted figures of national heroes, world leaders, celebrities and superheroes. Made of fibreglass, these figures provide for some memorable photographs to take back from your trip, and the helpful guides make the experience even better.
On the beachfront of Sanur, Bali sits the Museum Le Mayeur, the former mansion of Belgian Artist Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur and his wife Ni Nyoman Pollock. Le Mayeur was captivated by Bali and the dancer Ni Pollock while travelling, and decided to settle down here. The museum exhibits his artistic genius inspired by Balinese traditions as well as the local artifacts he collected during his time here.
One of the more recent fine art galleries in Bali, Museum Rudana exhibits a variety of sculptures and artwork by famous Indonesian and international painters. Founded by art collector Nyoman Rudana in 1995, the museum is spread across three levels surrounded by lush rice fields and displays emerging artists in a bid to boost the local art scene.
A walk through Ubud is incomplete without spending a while at Puri Lukisan Museum, home to several masterpieces of traditional modern Balinese art. The museum collection includes paintings from Sanur, Batuan, Keliki, and Young Artist schools of art, and is the perfect spot for art-lovers seeking a glimpse of Indonesian art history with a cup of coffee.
The Musuem of Ancient Man, or Manusia Purbakla, is located in Gilimanuk, Jembrana and offers a fascinating glimpse into the archeaological mysteries of Bali. Dating back to 600 BC are various objects such as jewellery, crockery, bronze items, and sarcophagi. Human fossils are also on display here, making this a must-visit for the history buff.
Located about 4kms west of Semarapura, Nyoman Gunarasa museum houses both classical and contemporary artworks over a 3-storey building. Established by the the well known Balinese artist Nyoman Gunarsa, the museum has 2 floors dedicated to the maestro's work while 1 floor exhibits the works of other local and international artists.
Did these museums tingle the history and culture geek in you? Let us know in the comments below!