I N T H E P U B LI C DO M AI N : A T h a i B udd h ist B a nne r a t t h e N G A – TAASA Review March 2011
Melanie Eastburn A lthough only officially open since 1982, the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) began collecting Thai art in the late 1960s.
Among the earliest works to enter the Asian collection were Thai Buddhist sculptures from serene 14th century bronzes to the gilded and bejewelled Buddhas of the 19th century.
In the ensuing decades the collection has expanded to include a small selection of intricate textiles and costume, as well as early photographs of royal life, delicate illustrated manuscripts and a significant contemporary installation, Montien Boonma’s Temple of the mind: Sala for the mind. The first major Thai painting to enter the national collection is the recently acquired Buddhas of the past and future, a spectacular large cotton banner (phra bot in Thai) painted around 1820-1850...