Image courtesy of Mike Aquino, licensed to About.com.
The cultural town of Ubud in Bali has no shortage of museums displaying collections of world-class Balinese art; along Jalan Raya Ubud, for starters, you can visit the Blanco Renaissance Museum near the Tjampuhan River, and a little closer to the town center, the Museum Puri Lukisan, which collects some of Bali's finest modern art under three roofs.
The Museum Puri Lukisan was co-founded by an art-loving prince of the Ubud royal family, Tjokorda Gde Agung Sukawati, and a Dutch expatriate artist resident in Ubud, Rudolf Bonnet. The prince and Bonnet worked together to bring Balinese artists together into a common association, helping spread Western art techniques among the different art schools, while also influencing Bonnet and another European artist in the area, Rudolf Spies. Never let it be said that the flow of influence works in only one direction!
The Museum Puri Lukisan displays a rich selection of artwork collected from the Balinese artists working under the auspices of the prince and Bonnet: scenes from daily Balinese life alongside characters from Hindu and Balinese folklore, with hints of European influence apparent in the composition and materials.
Unfortunately, ordinary art paper does not do well in the tropics; many of the artworks in the collection are deteriorating at a rapid pace, and the fact that the three buildings in the museum lack air conditioning only aggravate the situation. If you should go (and I suggest you go soon), make a donation to the Museum Puri Lukisan so they can postpone the inevitable for as long as they can. And see the artwork within, as you never know how long the art can last.
Read our guide to the Museum Puri Lukisan, together with our introduction to Bali's culture. Find out more about Ubud's shopping, dining, and sightseeing, and check out our article on 10 Things to Do in Ubud, Bali.