Museum Puri LukisanThe first private museum of Balinese art in Bali since 1954.
It is a private museum whose activities are conducted under the supervision of a foundation called Yayasan Ratna Wartha.
When the high quality of Balinese art became worldly recognized, more and more Balinese artworks disappeared to other parts of Indonesia and foreign countries. Thus, the fear among the Balinese people, and also Rudolf Bonnet (a Dutch painter, 1895-1978), raised that the most precious art would be lost forever and would never come back to its origin. Another need among the artists was to improve their skills without losing their own identity as Balinese artists.
The above mentioned developments were enough for Rudolf Bonnet together with Tjokorda Gde Agung Sukawati (the former Prince of Ubud, 1910-1978) and his brother, Tjokorda Gde Raka Sukawati and the famous painter to alter and shape a foundation in 1936, called "Pita Maha".
This foundation was to represent around 125 members in overseas market through exhibitions. Another activity was to organize weekly meetings with painters and woodcarvers in Ubud to discuss their works.
Following the disruptions of Second World War, a new organization, called "Ubud Painters Group", was created by artists such as I Gusti Nyoman Lempad under auspices of Tjokorda Gde Agung Sukawati and Rudolf Bonnet. Although it had many followers, the end came soon. Since then, a need for a museum of traditional Balinese art was felt among the artists.
First another foundation called Yayasan Ratna Wartha was established in 1953. This Yayasan Ratna Wartha was to carry out the role and uphold the ideals of "Pita Maha". In the same period plans and preparations were made to build a museum of modern Balinese art, designed by Rudolf Bonnet. With several financial support from different sources the building could start.
A foundation stone-laying ceremony was performed by the then Prime Minister Ali Sastroamidjoyo. The name of museum was "Puri Lukisan" (palace of painting), from this time Tjokorda Gde Agung Sukawati became director of the museum and Bonnet the curator of museum. Without any support from the then Governor Sarimin Reksodiharjo the museum could not developed as far as now.
Museum Puri Lukisan was officially opened for public by the then Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Mohammad Yamin at 31st of January, 1956.
The collection started with a donation of paintings from Rudolf Bonnet. Eventually more had to follow, which were donated by different artists themselves and friends who want to help the museum. The foundation achieved in purchasing some art pieces for the collection. Thanks to the cultural agreement the Dutch government supported the return of Bonnet in 1975, who was summoned to leave Bali in 1956, to complete the building of the museum.
Museum Puri Lukisan shows with its collection (painting and woodcarvings) the important developments of Balinese arts which is unique and priceless. Nowadays within the rapid changes in the art world the museum is active in organizing exhibitions of local artists.
In this year, when both Rudolf Bonnet and Tjokorda Gde Agung Sukawati died, a great ceremony was held to honor them. Their memory lives on in the creation of Yayasan Ratna Wartha and Museum Puri Lukisan, an unforgettable contribution to the arts, for the benefit of both local and global community.
The collection numbers an amount of paintings and woodcarvings of outstanding quality, which found their origin in the beginning of this century. These art pieces were collected by Rudolf Bonnet during his years as a curator for the museum. Bonnet tried to inspire Balinese art by selecting and promoting the artists. Thanks to his artistic talent Bonnet achieved to create fully inspiration for the Balinese artists, whom results are shown as permanent collection in the Museum Puri Lukisan.
The Balinese tradition of carving and painting goes back in the history for many centuries dated back to the relief panels in the temples at the end of 13th century in East Java. The collection of these ancient traditional paintings is a small collection of Balinese classical 'wayang painting', kept at the Museum mostly for comparative purposes. These kind of paintings were produced in the wayang style under pre-colonial condition, most of which, but not exclusively in the village of Kamasan, near Klungkung.
I Gusti Nyoman Lempad
A true master and ‘Renaissance man’, Lempad is a legendary figure in the Balinese community, as well in artistic circles abroad. His fame extends not only beyond geographical borders, but also beyond ordinary borders of craftsmanship and artistic expression. Lempad’s idiom wasclassical scenes, rendered in a relative formal way. To these he applied creative genius, and the passionate intensity of his personality, creating works that inspired many artists who followed him. Although he maintained close friendship with foreign artists, including Bonnet and Spies, Lempad never compromised his distinctive identity as a Balinese artist, and one with a broad range of talents in many media; painting, sculpture and architecture. In respect to the latter, Lempad was involved in creating the building of Museum Puri Lukisan and, the Kemuda Taman Saraswati temple in Ubud.
Modern Balinese Art
Since the early 70’ more and more artists found themselves creating individually their own style and gathered themselves in groups (kelompok). Pengosekan, south of Ubud, started the "Community of Artists" thanks to the artist Dewa Nyoman Batuan (born in 1939). As a talented and dedicated teacher, Dewa Nyoman Batuan opened a workshop for the artistic youths. There he guided and provided the local youths materials and at the same time a new style was born ‘Pengosekan style’. Thus was the new era for modern Balinese art, which developments relate to changes in community and the growing economy thanks to tourism.
During its ‘great’ years (1936-1940) this association "Pita Maha" achieved to improve the quality of art to a high level and at the same time each village developed an authentic typical style which became their own.
Style of Batuan
The artists of Batuan, a remote village South of Ubud rich of classical dances and simple village daily life, were keen in their own wash technique using Chinese ink on paper. With different layers they created depth in the drawings and using all space on the surface. Their daily life and beauty of surrounding became the objects of drawings.
Style in Sanur and Denpasar
The main art center of ‘hot spot’ beach Sanur in ‘30s was the shop of the German Neuhaus brothers who had an aquarium in their art shop, which sold paintings from local boys inspired by the submarine life. The artists used to work in a collaborative way in creating artwork, which was done by many people.
As a rapid growing city, Denpasar, had its own artist like I Gusti Made Deblog (1906-1985), who started retouching photos in the studio of the Chinese photography artist, Yap Sin Tin. His ‘realism’ appeared in wash technique on paper like dreamlike fairy world sprouting out Deblog’s imaginations although the subjects were part of Balinese epics.
The Young Artists School of Penestanan
In 1956 a Dutch artist Arie Smit (born in 1916 in The Netherlands) settled down in a village called Penestanan, west of Ubud. His fascination of the simplistic use of materials by young Balinese boys drew him into teaching local boys and provided them with materials. They experimented with mixing colors and simple figures and objects, which resulted in a typical ‘naïve’ style, called ‘The Young Artists’, using simple flat figures with no details filled with spontaneously bright colors and thick contour as to separate the various colors.
The Ubud Style
Before the arrival of Walter Spies and Rudolf Bonnet the artists in Ubud created wayang paintings on commission for the palace. But it changes soon with the Pita Maha association, which guided them and organized their exhibitions. Bonnet became their tutor in selecting objects and materials and soon enough many artists followed Bonnets style of painting, which emphasizes the anatomy of human figures in a natural surrounding.
Museum Puri Lukisan is located in the main street, Jalan Raya Ubud, in the cultural village in central Bali, Ubud. The cultural heartland Ubud is located 30 km from Denpasar and 40 km from the airport.
At the main street Jalan Raya Ubud, 300 m from Puri Ubud (palace of Ubud) and the local market to the west, a wooden traditional sign captures the eyes leading the visitors towards a small bridge reaches the museum entrance.
In The Museum
The buildings, which house the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions are surrounded by lush gardens and lotus ponds for the enjoyment for the visitors. Here the beauties of nature provide a peaceful sanctuary, separated from the bustle of Ubud's main street by a bridge spanning a small brook.
Hours and Admission
The museum is open daily from 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., except for the Balinese holidays such as Nyepi-day and Galungan and Kuningan days. The admission is Rp.10,000 for adults. Children under 15 years accompanied by an adult are free of charge. (This policy does not apply to children in-groups)
For group visits with more than 10 (ten) people the museum provides 50% discount. Special tour can be organized after appointment.
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