When you say Bali, you are talking about the best Asian island-resort in the world. When you say Ubud when in Bali, you are talking about the most creative artists, best artworks and interesting museums. The two leading Ubud museums are Museum Puri Laksan and Agung Rai Museum of Art.
The town of Ubud is located in the central foothills of the province (or regency) of Gianyar. Located among wide rice paddies, steep ravines, lush greenery, and interesting land formations, this artistic town is steadily drawing a large number of tourists every month. The town is home to a number of Hindu temples, traditional villages, and the Sacred Monkey Forest of Ubud. Its total population is about 30,000.
About Museum Puri Laksan
Built in the mid-1950s, the Museum Puri Laksan has showcased through the years the best collections of Bali paintings coming from different art schools in the island. The museum is located at the very heart of Ubud City, towards the end of Raya Ubud Street. Open every day from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, most of the museum’s displays are also for sale. Western tourists and art enthusiasts could not be more eager to purchase authentic Balinese art from this leading Ubud museum.
The museum is neither huge nor elaborate; its simplicity is compensated by the masterpieces that are displayed therein. The interior is maintained quite well; its surroundings feature parks and water ponds where guests may relax and ponder upon the intricateness of Balinese art. Puri Laksan is witness to the ever evolving style and creativity of Balinese art. In the past, the paintings mainly focused on Balinese puppetry and religious themes; today, the modern artists typically capture the Balinese modern way of life. The museum was built by the artist Rudolf Bonnet in 1973.
About Agung Rai Museum of Art or ARMA
Founded on May 13, 1996 and officially opened on June 9, 1996 by the Indonesian Minister for Education and Culture, the Agung Rai Museum of Art or ARMA serves as Bali’s center for visual art and performing art genres whose aim is to exhibit a collection of Balinese paintings, host musical and theatrical performances, and conduct painting classes, cultural workshops and seminars. It houses a library, book shop, and reading room. On permanent exhibit are authentic Balinese, Indonesian and international pieces of art on loan from the personal collection of Mr. and Mrs. Agung Rai. Included in the collection are rare artworks by Balinese masters, Ida Bagus Made, Gusti Nyoman Lempad, Anak Agung Gde Sobrat and Gusti Made Deblong. Other artworks are from international artists, Willem Gerald Hofker, Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres, Rudolf Bonnet, Willem Dooijwaard, and Raden Saleh Syarif Bustaman, among others.
Of the many Ubud museums that enthusiasts and artists get to enjoy in the area, only ARMA is made up of a series of buildings that showcase Balinese architecture. Using only local building materials, the museum’s two buildings are sandwiched between lush gardens and attractive ponds and fountains. There is also a nearby rice field, which makes the museum truly scenic and majestic to behold. It is definitely worth a visit.