5 Must-See Ubud Museums & Art Galleries
Bali is well-regarded for its rich history and unique culture but it is also known for its strong and diverse art scene. Though many visitors come to the island seeking paradise, some make the trip to Bali to discover the culture and history, which includes visiting the numerous art galleries and museums around the island. And those who’ve done their research knows that some of the best galleries and museums are found in the island’s cultural heart of Ubud.
Visiting an Ubud museum is a quintessential experience when in the cultural capital of Bali. With its history steeped in the arts — once a destination for international artists who called the island home — the many galleries and museums in Bali are found here. The Ubud museums are thus the most iconic on the island, featuring a rich array of works from both local and foreign maestros, often displaying the many ‘schools’ of painting that were developed over the decades. They are windows into the island’s creativity, but also windows into Bali’s rich artistic past.
As you can imagine, being the cultural epicentre of Bali, you’ll most likely find an art gallery or workshop at just about every corner of Ubud. It’s important to note that many little galleries, while great for souvenirs and trinkets, don’t always display true Balinese art, whether historical, contemporary and otherwise. So as not to get confused we’ve listed the five must-see Ubud museums and art galleries that will really show you what art in Bali is all about.
Blanco Renaissance Museum
The Blanco Renaissance Museum, sometimes colloquially referred to as Blanco Museum Ubud, is one of the most famous art museums on the island. Perched on a lush hilltop overlooking Campuhan, this art museum is the house and studio of legendary Philippine-born Spanish painter, Don Antonio Blanco.
An embodiment of the life and dreams of the late Blanco, this Ubud museum was opened on 28 December 1998. The flamboyant building, which features a distinct fusion of Balinese architecture steeped with the essence of his native Spain, was built by Blanco to house a collection of his most important works drawn from different periods of his lengthy career.
In addition to the majestic interiors and stunning art collections in the galleries, visitors can also visit the family temple or explore the perfectly manicured gardens on the establishment. Most impressive, however, is Blanco’s studio, which has been left untouched since his passing and displays an incomplete painting still on the sunken easel.
Address: Jl. Raya Campuhan, Sayan, Ubud
Distance from Viceroy Bali: 10 minutes
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (9 am – 5 pm)
Phone: +62 361 975 502
Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) was established in 1996 by Agung Rai, a Balinese who dedicated his life to the development and preservation of Balinese art and culture. This Ubud museum was built to be more than just a museum, but to become a centre for visual and performing arts. Agung Rai built ARMA Museum Ubud Bali with several goals in mind including collecting and preserving artworks, developing and conserve all cultural art forms, and providing a means and foundation for the local society to study various artistic skills.
The permanent exhibition featured in the museum include paintings by Balinese, Indonesian and foreign artists. The collections vary from traditional to contemporary works of art, including classical Kamasan paintings, the 1930s and 1940s artworks by Batuan artists, and works of Raden Saleh and Syarif Bustaman.
Additionally, the museum houses the outstanding works of Balinese maestros including I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, Ida Bagus Made, Anak Agung Gede Sobrat and I Gusti Made Deblog. Works of foreign artists can also be found in the museum including Willem Gerard Hofker, Rudolf Bonnet, Willem Dooijewaard, and the legendary Walter Spies.
Address: Jl. Raya Pengosekan, Ubud
Distance from Viceroy Bali: 11 minutes
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (10 am – 6 pm)
Phone: +62 361 976 659
Neka Art Museum Ubud
Opened in 1976, the Neka Art Museum Ubud was established by Balinese art connoisseur, Pande Wayan Suteja Neka and is one of Ubud’s trailblazing art museums. His close friendship with Dutch artists, Rudolf Bonnet and Arie Smith, sparked his interest in collecting high-quality paintings, which in turn developed into a vision of establishing a fine arts museum in Bali to elevate and preserve the Balinese art culture.
The collections at this Ubud museum are displayed in six Balinese-style pavilions, with the main structures housing the museum’s permanent collections and one structure used as a temporary exhibition space. With over 300 pieces in its collection, you’ll find a variety of artworks that are organised historically, ranging from classic Ubud Style paintings, classical puppet style paintings, Balinese sculptures, traditional Indonesian ‘keris’ daggers, contemporary paintings, and many more.
The museum aims to serve as a source of inspiration, information and education for all visitors and hopes that it will encourage artists and art lovers to discover and learn more about the richness of Balinese art and culture.
Address: Jl. Raya Sanggingan Campuhan, Kedewatan, Ubud
Distance from Viceroy Bali: 13 minutes
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (9 am – 5 pm)
Phone: +62 361 975 074
Museum Puri Lukisan
Founded by painter, Rudolph Bonnet, and Tjokorda Gde Agung Sukawati, Museum Puri Lukisan was established in 1956. As one of the oldest art museums in Bali, this Ubud museum is a fantastic place to discover the vibrant collection of Balinese paintings from the early 1900s. Bonnet designed and curated the museum, donating several of his paintings as the first collection exhibited at the museum, followed by more artists donating their artworks to support the museum.
Featuring four exhibition buildings, the permanent collection housed in the museum covers all artistic styles of Balinese art, specialising in modern traditional Balinese paintings and wood carvings ranging from the pre-Independence war to the post-Independence war era. The museum also provides space for temporary exhibitions by local artists.
Located on a small hill at the centre of Ubud, the museum also features a restaurant and café with views overlooking an expansive garden and a lotus pond.
Address: Jl. Raya Ubud, Ubud
Distance from Viceroy Bali: 9 minutes
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (9 am – 6 pm)
Phone: +62 361 971 159
Established in 1995 by Balinese art collector, Nyoman Rudana, Museum Rudana houses an extensive collection of fine arts. The Ubud museum was built under the concept of the Balinese Tri Hita Karana philosophy, where the art contributes to the wellbeing of people. Located in Peliatan village, Museum Rudana is connected to its adjacent Rudana Fine Art Gallery.
The museum displays over 400 pieces of fine art and sculpture by numerous Indonesian artists, including several of Rudana’s favourite art pieces such as the classical Ubud and Batuan-style paintings. The first and second floor of the museum exhibits works of modern Indonesian artists such as Affandi, Basuki Abdullah, Srihadi Soedarsono, Nyoman Gunarsa and Made Wianta. The third floor displays a collection of traditional works by Balinese maestros including I Gusti Nyoman Lempad and I Gusti Ketut Kobot.
Works of foreign artists are also exhibited in the museum including those of Don Antonio Blanco, Yuri Gorbachev, Jafar Islah, and Iyama Tadayuki.
Address: Jl. Peliatan, Ubud
Distance from Viceroy Bali: 12 minutes
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (9 am – 5 pm)
Phone: +62 361 975 779
Whether you’re a professional artist looking for inspiration, an amateur painter hoping to learn more about Balinese art history or someone who just appreciates art, a visit to these Ubud museums is a must during your time on the island. You will not only find inspiration but gain knowledge on the history and culture of the island of the Gods, experience newfound appreciation for the visual arts, and discover the importance of preserving all forms of art so that it is not lost on future generations.
Ubud, Bali is home to our very own Viceroy Bali luxury resort. You’ll find history hanging on the walls throughout Viceroy, helping to complete the Balinese atmosphere blended into the resort’s design.
One of the most striking photographs featured is one taken by renowned artist Walter Spies; it depicts the famous Kecak Dance, which was in fact originally choreographed by the artist back in 1930s, along with dancer Wayan Limbak. Other photos around the property, many of which are sepia, were taken of Bali back in the 1920s-1930s during the Dutch occupation of Indonesia. They are a window into Bali’s rich past.
Discover art in Ubud with Viceroy Bali, book your stay and let us help you discover these 5 must-see art galleries and museums, and other cultural wonders of Ubud and beyond.
Additionally, if you have any questions about Viceroy Bali or nearby attractions, the Viceroy team will be more than happy to answer your questions. Contact us for more information.
About Viceroy Bali
Ever wonder what it is like to stay at one of the most iconic resorts in Ubud? You should definitely visit us as Viceroy Bali, a family-owned and operated resort, a unique proposition for luxury 5-star hotels in Bali. Situated only a 5-minute drive from Ubud, Bali’s bustling cultural and spiritual capital, the property is a secluded haven for those with refined tastes. Each villa offers a private, heated infinity pool overlooking a spectacular jungle ravine known as Valley of the Kings. Every detail of this tropical sanctuary has been meticulously designed to provide an extraordinary expression of Balinese authenticity whilst also being world-class. Viceroy is the only Bali luxury resort to have won the Condé Nast Traveller accolade of #1 Resort in the World (2018)