The National Gallery, occupying an old and elegant building from the 1900s, is located on Chao Fa Road, opposite the National Theatre of Bangkok.
It was established in 1977 and houses an exquisite collection of traditional and contemporary Thai art from the 17th Century onwards.
The contemporary works are interesting in the way they demonstrate the impact of major Western influences such as impressionism and cubism on Thai art.
The National Gallery counts as a major tourist attraction to gain insight on Thai arts and is the only recognized art museum in Bangkok. All the art works grace the walls of the gallery and are respected and admired by visitors from all over the world to internationally prominent artists.
Interested visitors can listen to lectures and seminars about artistic activities arranged by the National Gallery.
Exhibitions of all kind
While the National Gallery has its permanent exhibitions which include collections of modern Thai art from the past and present; and works by both King Rama VI and the current reigning King HM Bhumibol Adulyadej, there are also monthly temporary exhibitions of Thai and foreign artists which include painting, sculptures, prints and installations.
Probably the best time to visit the museum is during the weekends of February and March. It is when the gallery’s courtyard transforms itself to a market where art works by Thai artists of every variety are on sale. These art works make an ideal and original souvenir from the Kingdom.
For those who do get the chance to visit the market, there are a library and a souvenir shop selling books and postcards.
History of the National Gallery in Bangkok
King Rama IV ordered the purchase of machinery to mint coins which was installed at the Royal Mint in the Grand Palace.
The building was then entirely replaced by King Rama V who ordered the construction of a new Royal Mint. The production of coins carried on until its machinery wore out and moved to Viphavadee Rangsit Road.
In 1974, the Department of Fine Arts requested the building to become the National Gallery and remains today the only recognized art museum in Bangkok.
Opening Time: 9.00am – 4.00pm
Entrance Fee: 30 Baht per person
Location: Chao Fa Road
Phone Number: 02-282-2639
How to go to National Museum in Bangkok
Take the BTS Skytrain (Silom Line) to Saphan Taksin station and descend via exit 1 to Tha Sathon pier where you can take the Chao Phraya River Express boat to Tha Phra Athit. Then walk to Phra Athit road which runs towards Phra Pin Klao Bridge.
Before you reach the underpass beneath Phra Pin Klao Bridge, turn left and keep on walking until you can see the National Gallery on your left.