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Galeri Nasional Indonesia

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Galeri Nasional Indonesia—Indonesia’s National Art Museum—offers an excellent overview of the history of modern and contemporary art in Indonesia. Housed in a historic building in central Jakarta, this forms one of the city’s best museums, and it is free!

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The building itself, or correctly group of buildings sit on Jalan Medan Merdeka Timur opposite Gambir Station. The central single-storey Indies Empire style structure was built in 1817 as a private residence and was later converted into a school. Today it serves as a temporary exhibition space known as Gedung A (Building A). In 1902 an additional double-storey building which now houses the permanent exhibition (Gedung B) was added to extend the school. Today the institution comprises a number of single- double- and triple-storey historic and contemporary buildings, with galleries, offices, art conservation and restoration laboratory, the Library of Indonesia National Culture (which seemed to be non-operational on our visit) along with a gallery shop and cafe—both of which have sadly closed down.

A great old building. Photo taken in or around Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

A great old building. Photo: Sally Arnold

The permanent collection comprises two wings on the upper level. Visitors are not permitted to take anything other than what you can carry in your pocket into the exhibition—no bags, hats, selfie sticks, sunglasses or hoodies, with lockers available at the entrance and you must register before entry. At the top of the stairs, the lobby presents a visual timeline of the history of art in Indonesia from prehistoric times. The wing to your left displays chronologically (backwards from the entry point) the history of modern Indonesian art a well as a small gallery of International artists’ works and the wing to your right houses contemporary Indonesian works. The well curated exhibition offers overviews of each period in English and Indonesian and individual pieces are well labelled, however touch-screen technology videos with in-depth explanations of individual works were mostly not in ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,200 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Galeri Nasional Indonesia
14 Jalan Medan Merdeka Timur, Jakarta
Tu–Su: 09:00–16:00
T: (0213) 483 3954
Admission: Free

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