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Photos of 19th century Siam

National Gallery to 7/28

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 09:58 PM


NOTE -- To view selection of photos from collection, open link below and then click on link to museum. You'll see a series of rectangular links in Thai script. Click on these and you can view images that have English description.


From Khaosod English



An image of Khun Sanphakit Vijarna, winner of the 1920 Siam Motorcycle Racing 1920, riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle, Twin Cylinder 1920 Model. Photo: The National Gallery / Courtesy


BANGKOK — Get a rare chance to see 19th century Siam through a series of images made by wet-plate collodion photography.


A total of 150 photos taken between 1855 through 1935 in Thailand are showcased at Celebrating the National Glass Plate Negative Recognized as UNESCO Memory of the World. They were selected from over 30,000 glass plate negatives preserved at the National Archives of Thailand.

Parts of the photographs were recognized by UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in 2017.


The exhibition is divided into eight themes and cover photos of royal ceremonies, arts and culture, historical sites, the kingdom’s modernizations and portraits of important figures during the reigns of King Rama IV and King Rama V.


Admission is free. The exhibition runs through July 28 at the National Gallery. The museum – housed in a building that was once the Royal Mint – is located on Chao Fa Road near Sanam Luang. It opens 9am until 7pm from Wednesday through Sunday.



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Posted 11 June 2018 - 05:44 PM

Excerpts from Khaosod English

Glory Days of Absolute Monarchy Revived at National Gallery


King Rama V meets Prince Otto von Bismarck in Hamburg, 1897.


It was the height – and twilight – of absolute monarchy, a period that lasted from the late 19th century until a democratic revolt in 1932. Its pomp and pageantry has been brought back to life once again in a photo exhibition running through July at the National Gallery.


Their story is told through 150 reprints of glass plate negatives taken by palace and foreign artists. The originals are stored at the National Archive, along with 35,000 other photographs preserved from that bygone era.


The collection was designated as an invaluable “world memory” by the UNESCO back in October, an occasion this photo exhibition celebrates.


The exhibition, co-organized by the National Archive and the Ministry of Culture, is separated into eight sections: a history of photography in Siam; national symbols and landmarks; major royal ceremonies; traditional arts and culture; the modernization of Siam; new roads and architecture; portraits of prominent figures, and relations between Siam and the world.



Phra Ong Chao Thongtaem Thaval Yavongse holds an unidentified boy next to a Western sculpture.


But behind these displays of grandeur, away from the cameras, a crisis was brewing. The economy was failing. Dissent against the opulence and incompetence of the royal government was spreading, at first quietly, then loudly through newspapers, eventually becoming a cry for reform and democracy. Their voices went unheard.


By 1932, Europe was far from the same continent King Rama V visited in the exhibition’s pictures. Monarchies no longer held the same prominence they did; some dynasties disappeared altogether. His country, too, became a different nation. A revolt forced his son, Rama VII, to give up his power and abide by a constitution, ending absolute monarchy.


“Celebrating the National Glass Plate Negatives” exhibition runs at the National Gallery through July 28. It opens 8am to 7pm from Wednesday to Sunday.



#3 fedssocr



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Posted 24 July 2018 - 09:12 AM

sorry I wasn't able to see this... I love historic photographs so this is right up my alley

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