Central Bali: Museums galore
Most of Bali’s museums and galleries are centered in Ubud and surrounding areas, and revolve around art and culture. Central Bali, like any other part of the island, is rich in culture and history. Largely represented by museums, all forms of art in Bali are individually unique and will teach you a thing or two about Balinese art, history, and traditions. If you’re looking for cultural activities in Bali, check out this list of museums and galleries near Mara River Safari Lodge.
Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets
This unique Bali museum serves as a cultural and educational part of tours to Central Bali, and its mission is to preserve some of Indonesia’s most colorful heritage items. Its broad collection includes over 1,000 masks and over 4,000 puppets from all over the Indonesian archipelago, Africa, China, Latin America and Europe, attracting culture lovers and families alike. Setia Darma is located in the cool and quiet village of Tegal Bingin, Sukawati.
Threads of Life
Working directly with over 1,000 women on 11 islands across Indonesia, Threads of Life is actually a fair trade business in heirloom-quality textiles and baskets. Their Ubud gallery is an educational and retail space representing their values of ‘cultural continuity, sustainable livelihoods, and environmental stewardship.’ Other than a feast for your eyes, you will gain knowledge on textile arts, their cultural roots, and the importance of their work to rural livelihoods across Indonesia.
Agung Rai Museum of Art
Founder, Agung Rai, has devoted his life to the preservation and development of Balinese art and culture, hence the birth of his museum of art in 1996. The collection ranges from traditional to contemporary art, among which are prominent works by Balinese masters, such as I Gusti Nyoman Lempad. One of the museum’s major goals is to provide means and infrastructure for the local society to learn various artistic skills.
Blanco Renaissance Museum
This museum is the house and studio of the late Philippine-born maestro, Don Antonio Blanco. It houses paintings, collages, and illustrated poetry together with lithographic artworks of his favorite subject: nude Balinese women. His lavish studio offers guided tours which, if you’re lucky, are hosted by family members. Alongside his thought-provoking artwork, the museum is completed by its lush garden and a fine restaurant. The building blends Balinese and Spanish architecture and exudes a gaudy style that will catch anyone’s attention.