Jim Thompson House

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Main House of Jim Thompson
Retail Store pond reflection, Jim Thompson House
Thai man spools silk at Jim Thompson House
Silk Loom, Jim Thompson House
Silk Spool, Jim Thompson House

The Jim Thompson House is now a museum in Bangkok. It is a complex of various old Thai structures that the American businessman Jim Thompson collected from all parts of Thailand in the 1950s and 1960s. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand.

As Thompson was building his silk company, he also became a major collector of Southeast Asian art, which at the time was not well-known internationally. He built a large collection of Buddhist and secular art not only from Thailand but from Burma, Cambodia, and Laos, frequently travelling to those countries on buying trips.

In 1958 he began what was to be the pinnacle of his architectural achievement, a new home to showcase his art collection. Formed from parts of six antique Thai houses, his home (completed in 1959) sits on a klong (canal) across from Bangkrua, where his weavers were then located. Most of the 19th-century houses were dismantled and moved from Ayutthaya, but the largest, a weaver's house (now the living room), came from Bangkrua.

Today visitors are led on a guided tour, provided daily to the public, with a small entrance fee. The grounds have been maintained in the same manner as were originally designed by Mr. Thompson. Many features of the house are a combination of traditional Thai architecture combined with Western influences. The grounds have a number of service quarters that now serve as museum showcases displaying many of the treasures from Mr. Thompson's collection.

A retail store providing Jim Thompson brand items is located at the entrance, and a museum of Silk treasures is located above this building. Near the entrance building is a restaurant that serves fine Thai cuisine to visitors. The original entrance to the house, an enclosure that stands on the klong, is still in place, with the current entrance being the former service entrance.

Today the house, at 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, is run by The James H. W. Thompson Foundation under the royal patronage of H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

Literature[edit]

  • Lenzi, Iola (2004). Museums of Southeast Asia. Singapore: Archipelago Press. p. 200. ISBN 981-4068-96-9. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 13°44′57″N 100°31′42″E / 13.74917°N 100.52833°E / 13.74917; 100.52833