In the 1930s, the King of Ubud welcomed many prominent Western artists to help nurture local talent in Ubud, and possibly with a far-sighted eye on a future tourist industry. The town is now known as an artists hub, and the museums of Ubud focus on art and art history. For a cool and calming wander through Bali's art and culture, there are a number high quality, informative museums for you to choose from.
These museums and galleries are for learning about art in Bali. To purchase artwork, I will be doing a separate Art Tour so keep your eye out or sign up.
Download map of museums and temples below.
Neka Art Museum
Neka Art Museum offers more than 300 works organised into different pavilions, curated to show Bali's art scene in different eras. The museum is housed in a lovely building overlooking the Campuhan Ridge. Open 9am to 5pm. Jl. Raya Sanggingan Campuhan. Website.
Puri Lukisan Museum
Starting out as a painters co-op, this museum was started by Dutch painter Rudolf Bonnet and and Ubudian prince. The museum houses more than 150 paintings and sculptures from different eras and styles. Open midday to 6pm. Jl. Raya Ubud. Website.
Blanco Renaissance Museum
A strange and impressive landmark in Ubud, the Blanco museum is housed in Don Antonio Blanco's mansion which blends classical European with Balinese design. There is plenty of erotica, scenes from traditional Bali life and even poetry. Open 10am to 5pm. Jl. Rayan Campuhan, Sayan. Website.
The Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) houses a remarkable private collection of works by Balinese, Javanese and foreign artists. The paintings include works by Balinese masters as well as foreign artists, including Walter Spies. I love the mix of traditional and contemporary- but Balinese style- paintings. The galleries are spread out a bit in beautiful grounds, and the current entrance fee (R50,000) also gets you a free coffee or tea at the pretty restaurant. The museum also offers performances, classes and a library, along with a shop and restaurant. 8am to 10pm. Jl Raya Pengosekan. Website.
Komaneka Fine Art Gallery
This gallery exhibits contemporary art by Indonesian artists. There are often small travelling exhibitions, book launches and talks, and there is a small shop on site. For a snapshot of modern art in the archipelago, this small gallery is a great place to stop during a shopping trip. Open 8am - 9pm. Jl. Monkey Forest.
Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets
The Indonesian tradition of storytelling through dance and puppetry remains strong, and this museum preserves and showcases an extensive collection of local and international works. The items are shown with excellent captions and many exhibits tell the associated stories. Open 8am to 4pm. Jalan Tegal Bingin, Mas.