“Museum Building and Surrounding Place”

Held between 8 November 2021 – 31 March 2022

Online Exhibition on King Prajadhipok Museum Website

As a resource for King Prajadhipok studies, the museum’s mission is to publicise knowledge through exhibitions on the biographies of King Prajadhipok and Queen Rambhai Barni and their royal duties. As for the museum building itself, the neo-classical three-storey building was constructed at the tail end of King Chulalongkorn’s (Rama V) reign under the charge of Charles Beguelin, the Swedish architect. The Department of Privy Purse allowed John Sampson & Son to lease the building and operate a department store in 1912. Later, Luang Maitriwanich (Chalerm Yotmani), the owner of the Suthadilok Department Store sought to obtain a leasing contract on the premises in 1926. It was in 1935 that the Department of Public Works requested to use the building as the headquarter. Recognising its architectural beauty and historical value, the Fine Arts department declared it a heritage site in 1995. In 1998, a renovation was made before the building was handed over to King Prajadhipok’s Institute to serve as the King Prajadhipok’s Museum. In addition, the location was close to historic places and venues such as Ratchadamnoen road, which was built during the reign of King Chulalongkorn and other Western-style buildings. Once the city expanded to the surrounding areas, it led to a rise in Thai communities, new occupations, and the settlement of foreigners. It successfully blended with the traditional life of elites in the past, inspiring many events and changes in a way of life through time.

The exhibition covers two topics: 1. “The History of the Building” presented the architectural history and socio-economic circumstances through many businesses previously renting the building. 2. “Surrounding Space” told of the social history, way of life, and significant events that occurred within a one km radius of the building. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and to support easy access to learning, it was exclusively online.

The exhibition is available to view online at https://www.museumbuildingandsurroundingspace.com/