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
Jim Thomson's House is opposite National Stadium on Rama I Road.