The AGUNG RAI MUSEUM OF ART (ARMA) was officially opened by the Indonesian Minister for Education and Culture, Prof. Dr. Ing. Wardiman Djojonegoro on 9 June 1996.
The museum is administered by the ARMA Foundation which was set up on 13 May 1996.
ARMA is more than a museum. It is a centre for visual and performing arts, and provides opportunities for 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, seminars and training programmes.
The permanent exhibition of paintings by Balinese, Indonesian and foreign artists includes the collection of the ARMA Foundation and work on loan from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Agung Rai.
The paintings range from traditional to contemporary including the following :
- Classical Kamasan painting on tree bark
- Masterpieces by Batuan artist of the 1930's and 1940's
- The only work to be seen on the island of Bali by the 19th century Javanese artist Raden Saleh Syarif Bustaman and German painter Walter Spies
- Works by Balinese masters such as I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, Ida Bagus Made, Anak Agung Gde Sobrat and I Gusti Made Deblong
- Foreign artist who lived an worked in Bali are represented by Willem Gerald Hofker, Rudolf Bonnet, Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres and Willem Dooijwaard among other.
Temporary exhibition by both Indonesian and foreign artist include paintings, textiles, photography, installations and sculpture with greater emphasis on contemporary art.
The Museum is made up of a series of building which are designed in Balinese style, though on a grander scale than traditional Balinese architecture. Local materials have been used wherever possible. The two main buildings, the Bale Daja (3300 square metres) and the Bale Dauh (1200 square metres) stand majestically amidst the gardens, ponds and fountains which are a major feature of the landscaping as are the vistas to the surrounding rice fields.
The Open Stage is the venue for exciting performances of both Balinese theatre and visiting groups from other parts of Indonesia and overseas, as well as outdoor banquets.