Sunday, December 20, 2015
Blanco Renaissance Museum
Blanco Renaissance Museum is an unofficial landmark in Ubud, the house and studio of the late flamboyant Philippine-born maestro, Don Antonio Blanco. Located on a hilltop overlooking the lush valley of Campuhan, it houses paintings, collages and illustrated poetry, together with lithographic artworks of his favourite subject: nude Balinese women.
The private residence and lavish studio has guided tours of the facility, with the artist’s family members hosting you if you’re lucky. The thought-provoking collections, lush garden surroundings and a fine restaurant established in the name of the artist’s late wife and all provide a great stopover on your trips to Ubud.
A five-minute drive westward from the Puri Saren royal palace and the main Ubud hub, the museum is hard to miss, on a hilltop above the Campuhan valley. A sharp turn and steep driveway leads you right up to the arched entrance gates. Inside is a large garden lawn and courtyard before the main palatial building that blends Balinese and Spanish architecture, a homage to Blanco’s heritage.
Admission is 50,000 rupiahs, which gets you a fresh welcome drink and access to the galleries, studios and grounds. Enter the main building, and a massive marble hall lined with Blanco’s artworks in lavish and unusual frames soon surrounds you. Many colourful nude portraits hang in this room, while out towards the studio you will see various collages with 60s-era paintings and paintbrushes and dried paint in front of an artwork in progress, most probably that of his son Mario, who follows his father’s passion in arts.
Here you will find only Blanco and his son’s works, there are no other artists’ collections. We recommend this museum strictly for adults and art lovers – not for children, apart from the palatial gardens and a collection of gorgeous parrots and other exotic birds in the courtyard.
Some of the art pieces occasionally bring a smile to your face; others a slight cringe. There are even some shady pieces with snippets of porn magazines overlaid with soapboxes, sand and seashells. Moreover, knowing that one of Blanco’s paintings was once sold for 5 billion rupiahs in Singapore in 2012 really makes you want to explore more of the displays. After the main gallery, you are guided through other studios, before exiting into a private parking shed.
There are several Blanco Litographs and books about Antonio Blanco available for purchase at the museum. The Blanco family provides personal tours of the museum and grounds. While visiting, the museum encourages visitors to take a stroll outside to the surrounding areas of the main building.
The Blanco Renaissance Museum features a range of facilities to aid your journey into the arts. A studio where Master Blanco used to paint as well as the gallery exhibiting Mario's works can be found inside.
The museum also features a gift shop, café and the Blanco’s family temple. The museum’s café features a cozy Balinese atmosphere and serves a range of European and Asian menus and snacks. The contiguous tropical gardens throughout its grounds are lush and enjoyable to spend even a full day visit at the museum.
Blanco Renaissance Museum
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun, 09:00 – 17:00
Location: Jalan Campuhan, Ubud
Tel: +62 (0)361 975 502