Faces of Bali - The Bali Museum
The Bali Museum was established in 1910 by the Dutch who invaded Hindia Belanda ( the old name of Indonesia before gained it’s freedom). The main function of the museum was to collect and preserve artifacts of the ancient civilization. In 1917, earthquake caused by mount Batur eruption destroyed the museum. Rebuilt in 1925, it was used as a storehouse for artifacts, and then in 1931 the building was completely redesign by P.J. Moojen.
The grand, well-kept complex consists of a series of attractive, grassy courtyards containing all the representation of Balinese architecture—bale agung, candi bentar, kulkul. The main structure, who has many pillars, is built in the manner of Puri Kanginan in the eastern regency of Karangasem. Standing next to it is a reproduction of Singaraja Palace on the north coast. With rich ornamentation both inside and out, the museum’s architecture combines the two principal sacred buildings of Bali, the temple (pura) and the palace (puri).
Inside the museum you’ll find a splendid collection of Balinese art—Neolithic stone plaques, a hoard of Buddhist clay seals excavated near Pejeng, Balinese folk crafts, carved and painted woodwork, cricket-fighting cages, dance costumes, textiles, masks, weaving looms and fabrics, agricultural tools, musical instruments, furniture, scale models of ceremonial events, ethnographic exhibits.
The first pavilion is a two-story building containing high-quality, early traditional, Kamasan-style paintings; classical Balinese calendars; modern Batuan and Ubud-style paintings; and work of the Academic and Young Artists (or Naive) schools. Another pavilion displays carved media—wood, stone, clay, and bone—including sculpted windows, doors, pillars, ceiling beams, friezes, old guardian figures, demons, and specimens of Bali’s extraordinarily earthy and vigorous folk art.
The building, dedicated to prehistoric artifacts, displays Bronze Age plaques, including the famous Gilimanuk bronze spearhead, the largest ever discovered in Southeast Asia. Also see ritual objects, priestly accoutrements, and a veranda lined with old stone statues. One building is devoted entirely to masks, weapons, and costumes of the performing arts, including rare barong pig masks and primitive dance masks from remote villages. There’s also a rare collection of topeng.