Last night Ika was telling me her mother wanted to visit Ubud, because there was a place on Indonesian TV, that a celebrity couple had been married. She had described it to Ika, but neither was 100% sure of where it was. “I will know the name of the place if I hear it,” said Ika, “I think it might be a museum.” After going through my mental list of Ubud museums (Neka, ARMA etc.) I said “Antonio Blanco.” and she said “Yes that’s the one.” We drove west along Jl. Raya Ubud, through to Campuhan and hung a left at the entrance to Museum Blanco. I must admit, I never actually expected to end up there, especially with my mother-in-law. The entrance fee was 20,000rp each and we quickly shuffled through to the garden area. Museum Blanco has a lovely site, with the extravagant museum, surrounded by manicured gardens and many exotic birds, including large parrots.
Jevon enjoyed chasing the chickens and my mother-in-law seemed to like the place. Once inside the museum, the content of the paintings (portraits of naked women) revealed itself. My mother-in-law seemed happy to take a seat and look after Jevon, rather than critique the brushwork. Staff at Museum Blanco were polite and friendly. There is no food shop or restaurant on the premises and today the whole place looked lovely, because of the strong sunlight.
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Museum Blanco is a good stop off place if you are looking for something to break up an afternoon. Its nothing to do with the history or development of Balinese art, more to do with one man’s admiration for the female form. While visiting today I got to wondering whether Blanco ever met Le Mayeur, the Belgian artist who was based in Sanur. They both married Balinese dancers and painted them in states of undress. Museum Blanco can be visited in an hour.