Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) was established for a purpose. Founded by Agung Rai, a Balinese who has devoted his life to the preservation and development of Balinese art and culture, the museum was officially opened on June 9, 1996 by Prof. Dr. Ing. Wardiman Djojonegoro, Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia. The museum is administered by ARMA Foundation set up on May13th 1996.
The major goals of the ARMA Museum are:
to collect and preserve artworks
to develop and preserve the art of painting, sculpture, dance, music, and various other cultural art forms
to provide means and infrastructure for the local society to learn various artistic skills.
The permanent exhibition of paintings by Balinese, Indonesian and foreign artists include the collections of the ARMA Foundation and works on loan from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Agung Rai.
The collection ranges from traditional to contemporary, including classical Kamasan painting on tree bark, masterpieces by Batuan artists of the 1930s and 1940s and the only works to be seen on the island of Bali by 19th century Javanese artist Raden Saleh and Syarif Bustaman.
Prominent are works by Balinese masters such as I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, Ida Bagus Made, Anak Agung Gede Sobrat and I Gusti Made Deblog.
Foreign artists who lived and worked in Bali are represented by Willem Gerard Hofker, Rudolf Bonnet, and Willem Dooijewaard among others. The works of German painter Walter Spies have a special place in the collection because of his important contribution to the development of Balinese arts.
ARMA is more than a museum. It is a centre for visual and performing arts, allowing the visitor to enjoy the permanent collection of paintings, special temporary exhibitions, theatre performances, dance, music and painting classes, bookshop, library and reading room, cultural workshops, conferences, seminars and training programs. Its vision is to become an internationally renowned museum of Balinese and Indonesian culture by organizing events showing the uniqueness and diversity of this culture. The museum provides many quality services to people from various cultural backgrounds. It serves people who wish to experience and learn about Bali’s unique cultural heritage. ARMA functions as a living entity, always on the look out for new opportunities to sustain the Balinese arts.