Thai Museum Day 2023

Thai Museum Day is celebrated on September 19th of every year in remembrance of His Majesty King Chulalongkorn and it was first declared in 1995.
Thailand
19 September 2023

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While International Museum Day falls on May 18th of every day, Thai Museum Day is celebrated on September 19th of every year and was first declared in 1995. 

The Council of Ministers declared every September 19th to be Thai Museum Day in remembrance of His Majesty King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V) who endorsed the establishment of the “Royal Siamese Museum,” mostly known as National Museum Bangkok.

The birth of the National Museum Bangkok

The National Museum Bangkok at The Grand Palace
Source: thebigland / Shutterstock.com

Originally, the museum was first set up in the reign of His Majesty King Mongkut (King Rama IV) as the royal private museum in The Grand Palace. Later in the reign of King Rama V, he ordered the opening of the museum to the public for the first time and it was marked as the birth of Thailand’s first National Museum. In 1887, the museum was moved to Wang Na, or Bovorn Sathan Mongkol (Front) Palace, and subsequently developed into the National Museum Bangkok. 

The National Museum Bangkok is located on the opposite side of Sanam Luang to The Grand Palace. The museum currently houses three permanent exhibition galleries, which include The Thai History Gallery, The Archaeological and Art History collection, and The Prehistorical Period Gallery.

To learn more about the National Museum Bangkok and its exhibitions, visit its website or follow its Facebook Page.

Museums in Thailand

The National Museum Bangkok at The Grand Palace
Source: Sombat Muycheen / Shutterstock.com

The National Museum Bangkok and the network of National Museums throughout the Kingdom are managed by the Fine Arts Department, under the Ministry of Culture, with the mission to manage the nation’s art and cultural heritage. The Fine Arts Department has set forth a number of developmental policies and regulations applying international standards to promote Thai culture through museums across the country. 

There are more than 100 public and private museums in Thailand ranging from art and performance art museums, textile museums, military museums, medical museums, religious museums to culture museums. Some of the well-known museums include Jim Thompson House Museum, Chiang Mai National Museum, Thailand–Burma Railway Centre, Erawan Museum, and many more.

The Fine Arts Department has also produced virtual tours of their museums with English-language narration of its artifacts, available from the Virtual Museums website.

Activities on Thai Museum Day

On the occasion of Thai Museum Day, many museums around the country organize activities to promote Thai museums and their role as a learning and cultural resource for all people. 

This year, activities will be held at the National Museum Bangkok from September 17th–19th, 2023 by the Office of National Museums, Thailand. Visitors can look forward to the following activities: 

  • “Museum Unveiling” Exhibition about the stories of museums in Thailand and will showcase rare, never-before-seen museum artifacts.
  • Museum Talk led by senior executives and museum professionals under the topic of “Museum Archives and Objects Management Towards Sustainability” and will cover museum management technology, museum collection preservation, and museum management during COVID-19. 
  • Conservation Lab involves a workshop and demonstration of museum artifact conservation by professional conservators, where visitors will get the opportunity to practice and gain hands-on experience. 
  • Museum Fair which showcases products and innovations from various museums.

For more information about activities on this day, visit the Office of National Museums, Thailand Facebook Page or the Thai Museum Day Facebook Page

Interested in volunteering? Consider becoming a member of the National Museum Volunteers (NMV), a nonprofit organization that has supported the National Museum Bangkok since 1969. The NMV offers a wealth of cultural and educational activities for those those who love the rich history and culture of Thailand and the broader region. The volunteer organization trains and makes available English, French, German, and Japanese guides for foreign visitors to the National Museum Bangkok. Reach out to learn more about the NMV Guiding Workshop and Study program.