The National Gallery
Museum for Contemporary Art in Bangkok
The building of The National Gallery was once a mint constructed in the reign of King Rama V. On his command, the old one was moved from the royal palace and built in an area that had been used as the viceroy’s residence since the reign of King Rama I. The king ordered them to surrender the land and move the residence to the new place. This royal mint, in a western architectural style influenced by a factory in Birmingham, England, was finished on February 4, 1902. King Rama V. presided over the construction and also operated the machinery himself on the date of completion.
The mint had been used until 1968, then abandoned. During that time, the Fine Arts Department planned the founding of the National Gallery and proposed using the building of the Treasury Department, Ministry of Finance. It was renovated and reopened as the National Gallery, with the grand opening held on August 8, 1977. Since then it has served the public for 29 years.
The aim of the National Gallery is mainly to serve as an international art corporation encouraging international exchange programs of exhibitions. As a result, there are several international temporary exhibitions dis- played at the National Gallery every year. Germany is one of the foreign countries with events hosted at our museum regularly since the foundation of the institution, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as with the Goethe-Institut, even though cooperate projects have diminished lately. Hopefully, “coming closer”, an exhibition from Germany, represents a comeback of German exhibitions, and bring us closer once again.