Jim Thomson is credited with revival of Thai silk industry and Jim Thomson House in Bangkok reminds us of his contribution. The atmosphere in this museum is different from other museums. One feels as if visiting a lived-in home.
Hand Weaving of Silk
The hand weaving of silk, a cottage industry neglected for a long period, drew Jim Thompson’s attention. He dedicated himself to reviving the craft of hand weaving. Jim himself was gifted as a designer and textile colorist. Having these attributes, he could do a lot for the industry’s growth. Thai silk has attained worldwide acclaim and a lot of credit for this goes to Jim Thomson.
Life of Jim Thomson
Jim Thomson was an American entrepreneur who came to Thailand in the Second World War period. He loved to collect antiquities and artworks from all over Southeast Asia. He was fond of Thai silk industry and contributed immensely to revive it. He collected a distinguished array of items during his stay. He mysteriously disappeared in 1967. He was never found despite the best efforts of the locals and the authorities.
Construction of the House
Jim combined six teak buildings to make his house. The material has made the house a fine traditional Thai architecture. The houses were easily dismantled and brought to the present site.
Thomson followed all conventional religious procedures while constructing his house. Jim Thompson moved in the house on a date in the spring of 1959, declared as being auspicious by his trusted astrologers. He lived in the house and also used it for art collection. It drew so much interest that he opened it to the public with earnings donated to Thai charities. He used his assets to preserve rich cultural heritage of Thailand.
Jim Thomson’s House is opposite National Stadium on Rama I Road.