List of museums and cultural institutions in Indonesia

List of museums and cultural institutions in Indonesia

The National Museum of Indonesia in Jakarta, the oldest cultural society in Indonesia, was established in 1778. The building in the photograph, the second building of the museum's society, was also the oldest museum building in Indonesia, dating from the 19th century.

This list includes many museums and cultural institutions in Indonesia (including aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens, following the definition of the International Council of Museums).

Heritage buildings such as candi, mosques, colonial churches and buildings with no site museum should not be placed in the list.


  • History 1
    • Colonial period 1.1
    • Post-independence 1.2
    • New Order Period 1.3
    • Today 1.4
  • Museums by region 2
    • Jakarta 2.1
    • Yogyakarta 2.2
    • Java 2.3
    • Lesser Sunda Islands 2.4
    • Sumatra 2.5
    • Kalimantan 2.6
    • Sulawesi 2.7
    • The Moluccas 2.8
    • West Papua 2.9
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Colonial period

Prior to the 20th century, the Government of the Netherlands Indies paid little attention to the culture of Indonesia. Study of traditional culture and archaeology was left to individuals or non-governmental institutions. Some of these are the non-governmental Batavian Society of Arts and Science, and individuals such as Sir Stamford Raffles, who wrote a valuable archaeological history of Java in 1818, and other important figures such as Dr. Snoeck Hourgrogne.[1]

Collection of artifacts by the Batavia Society of Art and Science.
The library of the Batavia Society of Art and Science. The baroque bookcase in the picture is still kept in the Jakarta History Museum as of 2012, although under lack of standardized museum maintenance.

The first museum in Indonesia seems to have been that built by Rumphius in Ambon, built in 1662. Nothing remains of it except books written by himself, which are now in the library of the National Museum. Its successor was the Batavia Society of Art and Science, established on 24 April 1778. It built a museum and a library, played an important role in research, and collected much material on the natural history and culture of Indonesia. It later came under the direct control of the British Lieutenant-Governor Raffles who, among other things, provided it with a new office building for the museum and library administration. The museum collection and library continued to grow, and in 1862 the government built, in the center of New Batavia, what is now the National Museum, the previous building is now Wayang Museum in Jakarta Old Town. The whole collection was transferred to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia in 1962.[2]

The Zoological Museum of Bogor, established in 1894 by the Batavia Society of Art and Science.

The Batavia Society of Art and Science also specialized in social sciences. In 1817 it made the plans for the Hortus Botanicus Bogoriense in Bogor. In 1894 it set up the Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense. The Bibliotheca Bogoriense made Bogor into an important center of biological science.[2]

Except for the Radya Pustaka Museum in Surakarta (1890), no other major museums were established in the 19th century. It was only in the 1930s that local museums began to appear, usually privately initiated, by civil servants and Catholic and Protestant missionaries. These museums are praiseworthy, but are not always in expert hands, and are often run by boards which do not always function continually.[2] Some museums suffer from the lack of regular resources, and some have disappeared completely, e.g. the Karo Museum in Berastagi, North Sumatra, set up by Dr Neuman, was abolished during the Japanese occupation (1942–45); and the Banjarmasin Museum built by Dr Malinkrodt, an expert on customs and traditions in Kalimantan, was burned down.[2]

At the beginning of 20th century, the colonial government became interested in the maintenance and restoration of cultural remains. In 1901 it set up the Commissie in Nederlandsch Indie voor Oudheidkundige Onderzoek van Java en Madoera, headed by Dr J. L. A. Brandes. In 1913, this became the more effective Oudheid-kundige Dienst van Nederlandsch Indie (Archaeological Service), under Professor Dr. N.J. Kromm. The government also employed officials to make a study of local languages and started the Kantoor voor Inlandsche Zaken.[1]

In 1918 Balai Poestaka was created to publish books of literary value in Malay and local languages. Malay was taught in schools next to the local language. Prospective civil servants were obliged to study the language and customs of the region they were to work in. Training was given in Leiden, in the Netherlands. Native Indonesians also came to realize the importance of their national culture in awakening nationalism, part of a general contemporary phenomenon in Asia. This nationalism was pioneered by Budi Utomo in 1908 in the STOVIA, whose building, the School for Javanese Doctors, is converted into a museum today.[1]

Modern technology and cultural change leads to disappearance of indigenous handicrafts. There was no longer a market for plait-work, textiles, earthenware, and brass, silver and gold objects. The result was a gradual process of cultural impoverishment. A need for money forced people to sell their heirlooms on the market, and many objects that should have been kept in Indonesia found their way to foreign countries. This condition prompted the building of the Sana Budaya Museum in Yogyakarta in 1935. Dr. F. D. K. Bosch, then Head of the Archaeology Service, and now Museum Director of the Batavia Society, first referred to cultural impoverishment, and the need for historical and cultural museums, to encourage people to appreciate their own products and to improve the quality of their handicrafts.[2]

The gate of Bali Museum, built in 1931 by architect P.J. Moojen, near the location of the former royal palace of Denpasar, which had been burnt to the ground during the Dutch intervention in Bali (1906).

The late Director of the Municipal Museum of Surabaya, Von Faber, emphasized the role of museums in education. The famous painter, Walter Spies, actively helped in the creation and management of the Bali Museum in Denpasar. Unfortunately, the decision to establish museums at the time was not matched by a determination to find experts capable of managing them properly. Only a few language experts like Professor Husein Jayadiningrat and Professor Dr. Purbacaraka were interested in museums-mainly because the university produced few experts in history and the social sciences, but concentrated on training physicians, lawyers, technicians and civil servants. It was not until independence that the social sciences began to develop.[2]

The Japanese occupation (1942-1945) indirectly stimulated Indonesian culture, and especially language, drama and the arts. A cultural center (Keimin Bunka Sidosho), created to promote Indonesian art and culture, and Poetera, headed by national leaders, provided opportunities for exhibitions, performances and so on.[1]


Pursuant to Article 32 of the Constitution, the government established the Ministry of Education and Culture. Its Cultural Department had separate Archaeological, Art, and Language Divisions. The Art Division set up various educational institutes including the Indonesian Academy of Fine Arts, the Indonesian School of Music (both in Yogyakarta), and Karawitan Conservatoire in Surakarta (Central Java). The original Language Division was divided in 1952 into two parts, one retaining the name of Language Division in the Cultural Department, the other being included in the Institute of Literature (the former Instituut voor Taal en Cultuur Onderzoek, Faculteit der Lettera en Wijsbegeerte van de Universiteit van Indonesi). In the same year (1952), the Cultural Department opened cultural offices in the provinces: Medan (North Sumatra), Bukit Tinggi (Central Sumatra), Palembang (South Sumatra), Jakarta, Bandung (West Java), Surabaya (East Java), Makassar (South Sulawesi), Denpasar (Bali) and Ambon (Moluccas).[1]

In 1956, the following changes took place: (a) The Archaeological Division became an autonomous Institute of Archaeology; (b) The Language Division became the Sub-Division of Customs and Traditions (remaining in the Cultural Department); (c) The other part of the former Language Division was incorporated into the Language Division of the Literary Faculty of the University of Indonesia; (d) The Cultural Department was given a new responsibility: museum management (Museum Section).[1]

New Order Period

Museum of Indonesian History in Monas, one of the museums of Indonesia which extensively used dioramas which is controlled by the Armed Forces History Center.

As a result of an extensive ministerial reorganization of the

  • Directory of Museums in Indonesia

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Cultural Policy in Indonesia. Paris: UNESCO. 1973. pp. 14–17. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Cultural Policy in Indonesia. Paris: UNESCO. 1973. pp. 29–33. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  3. ^ McGregor, Katharine E. (2007). History in Uniform: Military Ideology and the Construction of Indonesia's Past. Singapore: NUS Press. pp. 6–10.  
  4. ^ Ruslan Burhani (2010). "Sebagian Besar Museum Indonesia Kurang Interaktif". Antara News (in Indonesian). Retrieved February 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Jumlah Pengunjung Museum di Indonesia". Pusat Pengelolaan Data dan Sistem Jaringan (in Indonesian). BAPPENAS, Depbudpar. 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Sri Kuhnt-Saptodewo (1997). Nationalism and cultural revival in Southeast Asia: perspectives from the centre and the region. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 99–118.  
  7. ^ "Adam Malik, Museum". Ensiklopedi Jakarta. 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Agus Aris Munandar (2011). Sejarah Permuseuman di Indonesia (in Indonesian). Direktorat Permuseuman. 
  9. ^ Vaisutis, Justin (2007). Indonesia. Lonely Planet. p. 443.  
  10. ^ "Museum Gunung Tabur". Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Museum Sadurengas". Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Museum Sendawar". Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Museum Dara Juanti". Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Museum Istana Kadriyah". Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Museum Kapuas Raya". Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Museum Negeri Provinsi Maluku Siwa Lima". Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Museum Kedaton Sultan Ternate". Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Museum Sonyie Malige". Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Museum Loka Budaya Universitas Cenderawasih". Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Museum Negeri Provinsi Irian Jaya". Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. Asosiasi Museum Indonesia. 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 


See also


West Papua

Kedaton Museum, established in the former palace of the Ternate Sultanates.

Maluku Islands

  • Siwa Lima State Museum, Ambon (1973)[16]


Today, museums in the Moluccas specialized in Ambonese ethnography or artifacts from the earlier Sultanates in the Moluccas.

Ambon was the site of the first recorded museum in Indonesia, a botanical museum built by National Museum of Indonesia.

The Moluccas

Southeast Sulawesi

South Sulawesi

  • Kaili Souraja Museum, Kaili
  • Palu Central Sulawesi Provincial Museum, Palu

Central Sulawesi

  • Manado Wanua Paksinata North Sulawesi Provincial Museum, Manado

North Sulawesi

Most museums in Sulawesi specialized on cultural heritage such as textiles and other traditional artifacts.


West Kalimantan

Candi Agung Museum in Amuntai town.
Wasaka Museum in Banjarmasin.

South Kalimantan

East Kalimantan

North Kalimantan

Museum Lewu Hante.

Central Kalimantan

Most museums in Kalimantan specialized on cultural heritage such as textiles and other traditional artifacts. In South Kalimantan, most museums are shaped like the traditional Banjar house.



Sriwijaya Museum on the Sriwijaya Kingdom Archaeological Park.

South Sumatra and Bangka–Belitung Islands



Rumah Gadang, a traditional Minang house of West Sumatra in the Information Center of Minangkabau Culture, Padang Panjang.

West Sumatra

Riau and Riau Islands

  • Batak Museum, Balige
  • Museum Joang '45, Medan
  • Museum Perjuangan TNI Kodam I Bukit Barisan, Medan (1971)
  • Museum Simalungun, Pematangsiantar (1940)
  • Museum Huta Balon Simanindo, Simanindo
  • Museum Rumah Bolon Pematang Purba, Pematang purba
  • Museum Pusaka Nias, Nias (1993). The only museum in Nias, was destroyed by the Boxing Day Tsunami. A new building for the museum has been constructed.
  • Zoological Museum of Pematangsiantar, Pematangsiantar (1936)
  • North Sumatra Museum, Medan (1982)
  • TB Silalahi Center, Balige Subdistrict (2008)

North Sumatra

Aceh Tsunami Museum, Banda Aceh.


Aceh Museum

Most museums in Sumatra specialized on cultural heritage such as textiles and other traditional artifacts.


East Nusa Tenggara

West Nusa Tenggara


Lesser Sunda Islands

School children in Trowulan Museum.

East Java

National Museum of Press in Solo.
A colonial period locomotive in Ambarawa Railway Museum with its preserved track.

Central Java

West Java


Asian-African Conference Museum


Due to the importance of Yogyakarta during the war of independence from the Dutch, there are numerous memorials and museums. Monument Yogya Kembali and Museum Benteng Yogyakarta are two major museums of about 11 named in the city.

Museum Sasmitaloka Panglima Besar Jenderal Soedirman.


South Jakarta

The Kalpataru Tree Hall in the Indonesia Museum, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.

East Jakarta

Central Jakarta

A mock up of Dutch East Indies bank in Bank Indonesia Museum.

West Jakarta

North Jakarta and Thousand Islands

The recreational area of Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in East Jakarta contains almost twenty museums since the 1970s within its complex.

Several museums clustered in central Jakarta around the Merdeka Square area include: National Museum of Indonesia, Monas, Istiqlal Islamic Museum in Istiqlal mosque, and Jakarta Cathedral Museum on the second floor of Jakarta Cathedral. Also in the central Jakarta area is the Taman Prasasti Museum (former cemetery of Batavia), and Textile Museum in Tanah Abang area.

The Jakarta Old Town contains museums that are former institutional buildings of Colonial Batavia. Some of the notable museums are: Jakarta History Museum (former City Hall of Batavia), Wayang Museum (former Church of Batavia), the Fine Art and Ceramic Museum (former Court House of Justice of Batavia), the Maritime Museum (former Sunda Kelapa warehouse), Bank Indonesia Museum (former Javasche Bank), and Bank Mandiri Museum (former Netherlands Trading Society).

Jakarta contains the most museums in Indonesia with over 50 museums within its 661 square kilometers area. The museums in Jakarta cluster around the Central Jakarta Merdeka Square area, Jakarta Old Town, and Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.


Museums by region

In Indonesia, the increase of museums in numbers has not yet been matched by an increase in quality. Buildings are often unsuitable for display and for socio-educational activities; competent staffs are lacking; the public does not yet appreciate the educational role of museums; funds are lacking to maintain collections and extend building; and so on. There are not enough museums for 120 million inhabitants and a large number of State and private universities. Big cities like Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya, Bandung and Semarang need centers for science and culture, and museums as places of study and enjoyment.[2]

The most frequent type is the General Provincial Museum (Museum Umum Propinsi) which exists in almost all provincial capitals. These museums usually consist of several sections: natural history (geological, biology), ethnography, and history. Objects are sometimes flatly arranged in display cases with poor explanations. More recently established museums have already achieved higher standards with thoughtful and appealing expositions.[6]

The Directorate for Museums introduced categories to characterize the various collection: there are general and special museums, there are privately maintained and state-run museums, both by the central and provincial governments. Those museums kept by the central government in the main operate under the administration of the Ministry of Education and Culture. Military museums are supervised by the Defence Ministry.[6]

The number of museums in Indonesia in 1945 was 26 (including aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens, following the definition of the International Council of Museums (ICOM)). Between 1945 and 1968, this increased to 46. Today there are 281 museums in Indonesia (2010),[4] 80 of which are State Museums.[5]


During this period, the Armed Forces History Center expanded and encouraged the development of museums of militaristic in nature. Some of these museums for which the Armed Forces was directly responsible are Satria Mandala Armed Forces Museum (opened in 1972), Museum of the Sacred Pancasila Monument (1982), Museum of Eternal Vigilance (1987), Soldiership Museum (1987), and the Museum of Communist Treachery (1993). The collection of these museums feature relics, photographs, and weapons. Dioramas are extensively used by the Armed Forces History Center, whom method was chosen because of a general lack of perceived value in historical objects in Indonesia as well as the lack of funds.[3]