About the Museum

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.

A new building (East Building) was added as a temporary exhibition hall