The Arrival of Western Artist
Bali's Over the decades following the conquest and occupation of the south, a select group of tourists, expatriates, actors, and celebrities adopted Bali as their private paradise, building ornate villas in Ubud and Sanur. These early sojourners would arrive on Bali by steamship at Singaraja, then motor south to Denpasar, invariably staying at the Bali Hotel.
The publication in 1926 of a remarkable book of photographs, Gregor Krause's Bali: Volk, Land, Tanze, Feste, Tempel, mesmerized all of Europe. Krause's priceless photos, taken while he was a government doctor on Bali between 1912 and 1914, revealed a culture, which had remained unchanged through the centuries.
In the early 1930s a few documentary films, such as The Island of Demons from Germany and Goona Goona, out of the USA, were distributed in America and Europe, bringing this isolated cultural outpost to the attention of the world. Bali by this time had also gained an underground reputation as a homosexual paradise. In 1935, a nightclub opened in Manhattan called the Sins of Bali.
The influence of such foreign artists as Walter Spies, Rudolph Bonnet, and Le Mayeur during the 1930s made a significant impact on the development of modern Balinese painting. An elite circle of foreign anthropologists, ethnologists, intellectuals, and musicians-Margaret Mead and Buckminster Fuller among them-were also drawn to Bali, devoting themselves to studying its culture.
Among the classic works produced in the 1930s is The Island of Bali, by the Mexican illustrator and writer Miguel Covarrubias. It was also during this period that the German novelist Vicki Baum visited the island, writing her vivid Tale of Bali in 1937, depicting the European conquest from the Balinese point of view.
Dutch colonial officials and distinguished European scholars began to build a body of published work on Bali, anthropological literature with no parallel anywhere else in the world.
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