The Island of Bali, by Miguel Covarrubias, has remained one of the definitive treatments of the subject since its original publication in 1937. The book’s facility with words is matched by elegance of drawing. The book was also composed in a colonial context, written by a Mexican who was part of a Euro-American group of cosmopoli-tan intellectuals and artists. Miguel Covarrubias has been attacked as an orientalist, and praised as a trans-Pacific visionary. His encounter with Bali was especially an encounter with Balinese art, especially the new form of modernism emerging in the 1930s. Covarrubias’s interests in magic coincided with Balinese preoccupations with spiritual forces, something he pursued with his study of Balinese texts. For Covarrubias, art was a vehicle for achieving liberation. Despite heavy outside editorial intervention, Island of Bali advances a global view of connections between societies through art.