002 : Silpa Bhirasri Memorial National Museum

Just a few step away from the Grand Palace, across Na Phra Lan road, located one of the prestige universities and the first academy of fine arts in Thailand. Silpakorn University is the place where the museum I’m going to write about is located.

The university was founded in 1943 by Italian-born Professor Corrado Feroci, who later known as Professor Silpa Bhirasri. While recently there are several campuses due to many faculties founding and number of students increasing every year, the first and foremost campus is Wang Tha Phra. Once it was the royal pavillion of H.R.H Prince Narisaranuvattivongse and recently occupied the first 4 faculties that Professor Silpa Bhirasri had founded.

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Born 15th September, 1892 in Florence, Italy. Silpa Bhirasri began his interesting in art since he was young. At the age of sixteen, he started studying at The Royal Art Academy of Florence and graduated from there seven years later. At the age of only twenty-three, he became an art professor and was selected by Italian government to be engaged as a sculptor in Thailand according to King Rama VI’s request.

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He worked in the Fine Arts Department from 1923 to 1962. His significant works during this period included the royal monuments throughout the country. After 3 years in Thailand, he started teaching training course on sculpture to any interest. His pioneer students later joined him as sculptor assistant for government. Then in 1932, Professor Silpa Bhirasri founded the School of Arts (Rongrian Silpakorn), his first class students became well-known artists in Thailand. In 1942 the school name was changed to the School of Fine Art (Rongrian Praneet Silpakam) and eventually became Silpakorn University in 1943.

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Professor Silpa Bhirasri passed away on 14th May, 1962. Silpa Bhirasri Memorial National Museum was founded twenty-two years later on 15th September, 1984 by the cooperation between his students and close friends to remember his great contribution to art circles as he was entitled ‘The father of modern art in Thailand’.

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The museum located inside Silpakorn University, behind the centre square of faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts. The exhibition includes Professor Silpa Bhirasri’s art works and his students’ art works in one side of the room. The other side exhibits his personal belongings such as his work tools and every day objects while he lived within this work room.

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Museum Information

Opens Monday to Friday from 09:00-16:00 except national holidays
Free of charge

Address: Silpa Bhirasri Memorial National Museum,
Na Phra That road, Phra Borommaharatchawang, Phra Na Korn, Bangkok 10200

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silpa_Bhirasri
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silpakorn_University
http://www.journal.su.ac.th/index.php/suij/article/viewFile/40/40

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