An Adventurers Dream : Jim Thompson’s House

The American businessman Jim Thompson left a gift for the world in the form of the Jim Thompson House or the Jim Thompson Museum as it is more popularly known as. Jim Thompson was a collector of South East Asian art and it was his collections of the 60’s and 70’s that built the foundations of a marvellous museum that stands in Bangkok today.

Jim Thompson’s House
Jim Thompson’s House | Image Resource : urban-connects.com

Thai antiques and art forms were not known very well around the world till very recently. The oriental art forms have been well preserved at the Thompson house and hence it has been a major contributor towards increasing awareness regarding Thai art forms.

Jim Thompson House Museum Living Room
Jim Thompson House Museum Living Room | Image Resource : culture360.asef.org
Jim Thompson Art Center
Jim Thompson Art Center | Image Resource : urban-connects.com

The Thompson House is not only a collection of Buddhist art and literature but also a collection of different art pieces from Burma, Bhutan and Laos. The collection of South East Asian and South Asian art that Thompson had preserved has kept on growing the museum is now amongst the most important preservation centres for Thai antiques. Thompson himself travelled to most of the above countries and handpicked the items. I envy his life, if I had the resources, I would leave my job and just go around world collecting antiques.

I wanted my son Joseph to learn something from this trip. It is his age of collecting as much as he can. The architectural marvels of the Thompson House are no less than its collection. The canal that was built in 1959 now forms the base for 6 antique Thai Homes. Silk weavers were moved to these houses and enactors still sit in front of these houses producing and weaving silk from the scratch. Sericulture took proportions of an art here in Thailand.

The architecture of the Thompson house also has certain western influences given that Thompson himself had designed some parts of the main buildings. The interiors at some places are entirely built out of glass and their magnificence is beyond words. We visited the Thompson House to learn a thing or two about Thai art and literature but came out enriched with a love for beauty and art of the region.

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