Around 1910, when Dutch cruise ship named K.P.M started to visit Bali and dropped tourists, Bali started to be known abroad. More and more tourists coming to Bali. Many ancient heritages felt into the hand of tourists. Realizing this situation Mr. W.F.J. Kroon, the assistant Resident of Bali and Lombok asked Mr. Curt Grundler to work out a plan of museum with Balinese architects.
The team decided to build a museum with architecture of mixed between temple and place style. The construction was almost stop during the explosion of Mt. Batur in 1917 which was damaging hundreds of temples and people houses, and falling down the half-built museum. Finally the museum can be opened in 1932, with a real management, with 3 mains exhibition pavilions, these are Gedung Tabanan, Gedung Karangasem, and Gedung Buleleng.
Gedung Tabanan or the Pavilion of Tabanan is one of the pavilion with architectural design of Tabanan regency style to preserve and exhibit Bali ethnography such as arts, accessories, household tools, ritual tools, and various traditional arms. Gedung Buleleng or the Pavilion of Buleleng with architectural style of north Bali. This pavilion is dedicated to preserve and exhibit Chinese Buddhas, various sculptures classified according to it's period, and primitive style. Gedung Karangasem, or the Pavilion of Karangasem with architectural design of East Bali to preserve and exhibit various human cultural fact from before BC until current decade such as agricultural tools from bronze age, megalithic age, inscriptions on bronze, stone sculptures of 13th to 16th century, Chinese porcelain, and various ritualistic objects.
Museum bali is one of the biggest museum in Indonesia with various type of collections. According to the inventory made in 1981 the collection of Museum Bali are recorded as follows:
Pre-historical fact 640 objects
Historic fact 6.883 objects