Museums and galleries in Jakarta
The weekend you’ve been waiting for all week has finally arrived, but you’re out of activities to do. As much as you love chatting with your friends over a cup of coffee at your favorite cafe, you might want to do something else for a change. Luckily for you, there are museums and galleries in Jakarta that can fill you and your family or friends with knowledge and inspiration.
Whether you’re keen on learning about cultural history, fine art or historical archives, this list of museums and galleries in Jakarta will definitely come in handy.
1. Galeri Nasional Indonesia – art exhibitions for art lovers and noobs
Image credit: @muhrezast
Anyone who’s interested in the arts should go to Galeri Nasional Indonesia, or The National Gallery of Indonesia, where you can see permanent and temporary art exhibitions for free. Its permanent collection includes the works of major Indonesian artists such as the pioneer of romanticism Raden Saleh, the master of Indonesian expressionism Affandi, as well as international artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Hans Hartung.
Image credit: @faariani
Temporary exhibitions vary as they can focus on paintings, illustrations, architectural drawings and models, and experimental installations. Among recent ones are Man x Universe by Srihadi Soedarsono and Affandi’s “Alam, Ruang, Manusia” (“Nature, Space, People”).
Affandi’s “Alam, Ruang, Manusia” immersive exhibition
Video credit: Galeri Nasional Indonesia
Urban sketchers would love the KamiSketsa GalNas (WeSketch GalNas) workshop, but anyone can join and it’s free. You’ll get to have fun and learn to develop your on-the-spot drawing skills with other participants, giving you a more interactive experience with art.
Gallery fans are doing urban sketching from home
Image credit: @myarrasyid99
These urban sketching sessions are currently held online – you can share your art via the Instagram hashtags #kamisketsagalnas and #kamisketsagalnasdarirumah. Galeri Nasional Indonesia is also holding regular educational Zoom talks with artists and curators on their Facebook page.
Address: Jalan Medan Merdeka Timur #14, Gambir, Gambir, Central Jakarta 10110
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 9AM-4PM, Closed on Mondays
Opening hours (temporary exhibitions): 10AM-7PM, Daily
2. Museum Nasional Indonesia – Indonesia’s oldest museum, with ancient artifacts
Image adapted from: @davidia_intan
Get in touch with the cultural history of Indonesia at Museum Nasional Indonesia, or The National Museum of Indonesia. It’s also called Museum Gajah (elephant) because of the elephant statue in front of the building. Established during the Dutch colonial period in the late 1700s, it was the first museum in Southeast Asia.
Image credit: @jangjul0205
The museum is divided into sections such as archeology, ethnography, and geography, among others. You’ll find artefacts such as 17th-century Chinese ceramics, batik and ikat fabric from the 19th century, and stone engravings dating back to the 12th century – which you can now explore from the comfort of home thanks to Google Arts & Culture’s online exhibitions from the museum.
You can learn about more modern cultural history here as well – some recent exhibitions and free online talks advertised on the museum’s Instagram feed focused on topics such as dangdut, historical figures such as Prince Diponegoro, and Japanese design from the 1950s to the 1990s.
Address: Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat #12, Gambir, Gambir, Central Jakarta 10110
Opening hours: Tues – Fri, 9AM-3PM | Closed Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and public holidays
Virtual Zoom visits: Tuesday and Thursday, 10AM-11.30AM and 1.30PM-2.30PM (for members of the public; register here)
Price: Rp. 5,000 (~USD0.35) adults, Rp. 2,000 (~USD0.14) children
3. Museum Tekstil Jakarta – beautiful batik and woven fabric
Image credit: @theresiajuanita
Ancient ceramics and stone engravings often grab the attention of museum-hoppers, but textiles have been around for a long time and they deserve the spotlight too. After all, textiles predate our writing culture, and visually tell the story of civilizations and human relationships in the past that we now tend to take for granted.
Museum Tekstil Jakarta, or The Textile Museum, boasts a collection of textiles from across the archipelago that proves how much of an impact it has on cultural history. Inaugurated in 1976, this museum displays Javanese batik, Batak ulos, and ikat, which is a traditional dyeing technique. You’ll also get to see the types of instruments and equipment that are used to make textiles, and that serve as an eye-opener for those who want to learn about the details that have influenced Indonesian fashion.
Address: Jalan Aipda K.S. Tubun #2-4, Kota Bambu Selatan, Palmerah, West Jakarta 11420
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 9AM-4PM | Closed on Mondays
Price: Rp. 5,000 (~USD0.35) adults, Rp. 3,000 (~USD0.21) students, Rp. 2,000 (~USD0.14) children
4. Museum Layang-Layang Indonesia – a humble kite museum kids will love
Image credit: @museumlayanglayangin
With the rise of video games, there aren’t a lot of kites in sight, but at least Museum Layang-Layang Indonesia, or The Kite Museum of Indonesia, is around to preserve those good old-fashioned toys.
To date, the museum has a collection of over 600 traditional and modern kites from Indonesia and other countries such as Vietnam and Japan. There are so many different designs with popping colors to observe and take photos of, and you might even be surprised by how big some of them are – there’s one that’s 26 meters in length.
Image credit: @audi.octavia
Children are bound to love spending a day here because apart from looking at a variety of kites, there are workshops where they can learn how to make and decorate their own kites, which they can later play with at home. Other crafty workshops are also on offer, and prices range from Rp. 35,000 (~USD2.47) to Rp. 50,000 (~USD3.53).
Address: Jalan H. Kamang #38, Pondok Labu, Cilandak, South Jakarta 12450
Opening hours: 9AM-4PM, Daily
Price: Rp. 15,000 (~USD1.06)
5. Galeri Foto Jurnalistik Antara – the first Indonesian gallery dedicated to photojournalism
Image credit: gfja.antaranews.com
Galeri Foto Jurnalistik Antara, or The Antara Museum of Photojournalism, is located within Pasar Baru’s iconic market compound in Central Jakarta and should go on the list of aspiring photojournalists or casual photographers alike. Established in 1992, it’s the first Indonesian institution dedicated to photojournalism.
In addition to being a gallery where you can explore the history of Indonesian photojournalism through photos, it also hosts regular workshops where you can take your hobby a step further.
On the second floor is Museum Pers Antara, or The Antara Press Museum, which displays antique typewriters, old newspaper articles, and a motorcycle that was once used by journalists. The building isn’t too big, but it houses a lot of important historical items that photo buffs and aspiring reporters will love to pore over.
Regular Zoom talks discussing topics such as the experiences and histories of photojournalists in Aceh, Bali, and even the early days of Indonesia’s independence are regularly announced on their Instagram feed.
Address: Jalan Antara #59, Pasar Baru, Sawah Besar, Central Jakarta 10710
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 10AM-8PM | Closed on Mondays
6. Bartele Gallery – a gallery shop for antique enthusiasts
Image adapted from: @bartelegallery
Bartele Gallery is a bit different from the others on this list because it’s actually a gallery shop that also welcomes anyone who’s into rare antique maps, prints, photographs and books.
The only gallery of its kind in Indonesia, its small size packs items that are centuries old – such as a map of Palembang from the early 1900s and an illustration of Tangerang from the mid-1700s.
An antique map of Southeast Asia available for sale at the gallery
Image credit: Maps-Prints.com
You might even be interested in buying a print (from ~USD 130) as a gift for a friend or family member who loves collecting antique items. For a preview of the gallery’s collection, visit Bartele’s catalog.
Address: Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Menteng, Central Jakarta 10310
Opening hours: 8AM-8PM, Daily
7. Art:1 New Museum – a hidden world of contemporary art
Image credit: @retnoeka
In a city as big and packed as Jakarta, there are a lot of hidden gems, and the Art:1 New Museum is one of them. It’s the place to go if you want to keep up with the latest art. Established in 2011, this museum also has an art space that doesn’t only exhibit artwork by local and international artists, but also puts on talks and discussions.
Image credit: @ajengrchmwt
It’s almost surprising how a place this big isn’t more widely known by the residents of Jakarta. The modern building has 3 floors, where you’ll find modern paintings, sculptures and installations, and also video art and photographic works.
Past exhibitions include Intuitive Form by Shingo Okazaki, Kawaii Abstract by Osamu Watanabe Randomness by Farrah F. T. as well as a celebration of graffiti and street art. Those looking to delve into topics such as how to build an art collection can tune in to the gallery’s free Zoom talks online, announced on their Instagram feed.
Address: Jalan Rajawali Selatan Raya #3, Gunung Sahari Utara, Sawah Besar, Central Jakarta 10720
Opening hours: Tue – Sat 10AM-6PM | Sun 10AM-4PM | Closed on Mondays
Price: Rp. 100,000 (~USD7.06) adults, Rp. 75,000 (~USD5.30) students, free for children
8. Museum MACAN – experience Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Room
Image credit: @adindageni
Among the many museums and galleries in Jakarta, Museum MACAN, or the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara, is one of the hottest spots. It boasts a chic layout and impressive exhibitions that are a feast for the eyes.
Image credit: @zolanms
Yayoi Kusama’s famous Infinity Mirrored Room or Mit Jai Inn’s Color in Cave have been popular selfie sites as they’re both colorful and magical, making you want to cherish the memory of having interacted with the artwork.
As for MACAN’s collection of paintings, you’ll get to see the works of Indonesia’s greats, Raden Saleh and S. Sudjojono, as well as those by international artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Keith Haring, and Sigmar Polke.
Since one of the museum’s missions is to introduce art to an expansive audience, it also has fun activities for children. Additionally, you can visit the shop if you’re interested in buying art books, T-shirts, or stationery that make thoughtful year-end gifts for art lovers too. Browse the online shop to see what’s in store.
Address: AKR Tower Level M, Jalan Perjuangan #5, Kebon Jeruk, Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta 11530
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 10AM-6PM | Closed on Mondays
Price: Rp. 100,000 (~USD7.06) adults, Rp. 90,000 (~USD6.36) students and senior citizens, Rp. 80,000 (~USD5.65) children aged 3-12, free for children under 3
Museums and galleries in Jakarta
With this guide of museums and galleries in Jakarta at your fingertips, you’ll hopefully see the city from a new light – there are indeed options to fill up your weekend other than the typical shopping mall or cafe.
Many of them are offering online visits and entertainment options for art and culture buffs, so you can stay safe at home and wander the city’s museums through video, and even get to meet the curators and artists whom you won’t usually see on a physical visit.
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