Information before you go
In the south of Ubud you can find the ARMA museum, which stands for Agung Rai Museum of Art. It is part of the ARMA foundation which aims at preserving the Balinese art and culture. If you want to create an understanding of the history and the many styles of Balinese paintings than this museum is one of the great places to go to.
The main entrance of the museum is just next to the stylish ARMA Bali luxury resort on Jalan Raya Pengosekan, but you can also enter it from Cafe ARMA on Jalan Hanoman.
The main entrance of the museum in Ubud
Besides a museum, ARMA has also a cultural center where theater performances and cultural workshops are held together with painting, dance and music classes.
If you are lucky, you might see children learning the fine Balinese dancing techniques in the pavilion near the reception.
You can also join courses yourself. Besides the usual courses such as wood carving, Balinese batik, Balinese painting and Balinese dancing, you can also join workshops on Hinduism in Bali, the affect of modernity on Bali and the history of Bali.
There is also a book shop, library and some rooms where conferences and training can be organized.
The paintings of Balinese, Indonesian and foreign artists are displayed in two main Balinese styled buildings located in a beautiful garden.
The collection is a mixture of paintings ranging from traditional to modern which includes Kamasan paintings on tree bark, Batuan paintings dating back to the 1930s and paintings from famous Balinese artists.
The permanent exhibition of painting is owned by the ARMA Foundation or is on loan from the Agung Rai family. temporary exhibitions
One of the museum buildings
The museum also has a large collection of paintings by foreign artists that have influenced the development of the Balinese painting through time, such as Rudolf Bonnet, Willem Gerard Hofker and Willem Dooijewaard.
This is also the only place where you can see the works of the painter Walter Spies, an important figure in the history of Balinese paintings.
The paintings are clearly explained and are exhibited on high spacious walls, so this makes it really nice to take your time while walking passed the paintings.
Of course I'm not a painting expert and I’m unable to look at paintings and describe it the same way as a professional would do it.
But with my inexperienced eyes I was amazed about the details in the pictures and how the painters managed to squeeze many activities of daily life on the canvas, filling up every little spot.
I thought that some had painted people in a more ‘comical’ kind of way making it bright and playful while others managed to picture the gracefulness of the Balinese people amazingly well.
My girlfriend has found a friend
The Rp. 25.000 entrance fee includes a cup of coffee or tea in the cafe of the museum. I had never tried the Balinese coffee before so I gave it go...
What shall I say...??
If you love strong coffee than this is definitely your thing...
As mentioned before, the museum also organizes performances in the evening except on Tuesdays. They even offer you dinner for around Rp. 100.000-135.000 before the performances start so you won't be late.
The short list of performances
And at Full Moon and New Moon they have the exciting Kecak dance. Something you should not miss out on when you're in Ubud. At the museum you can get the full week program of performances.
I must admit, museums have never been on the top of my things-to-do in Ubud list but after visiting this museum we were glad that we went...
I hope you'll have such a wonderful learning experience as we had ;-)
This western artist moved to Bali in 1927 where he lived for 13 years. In this period of time he created many paintings but also stimulated the local artists to develop.Read more
Just next to the museum you can find the Balinese styled ARMA resort. It has luxury villas and suites all set within a beautiful garden and near the rice fields.Read more
Once you visited several museum you will create more understanding of paintings, which in the past was only made for religion purposes and for royalty.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
Hi, I have been travelling for years and I want to say that this website is the best I have EVER come across. It is easy to navigate, it is really descriptive, gives all the info that you could ever want and is accompanied by the best photos and advice. GREAT.