Located in Wang Tha Phra (Tha Phra Palace), the old palace in King Rama I’s period, Silpakorn University is the first modern art university of Thailand, founded in 1943 by Silpa Bhirasri (Corrado Feroci), a.k.a ‘Ajarn Silpa’, the Italian artist who came to work under King Rama VI’s reign.
Nowadays, it is the artistic space which maintains the charming and the sacred air of the old university and the royal court. In its limited capacity, there are “Silpakorn University Art Centre” (the old throne room which was adjusted to be the space for temporary art exhibitions), Suan Kaew (the Jessamine Garden), the early western style buildings such as Pannarai Building, “Central Library” which gathers plenty of art-related books.
Beside the university, inside the Fine Art Department at its wing facing the Grand Palace, there is “Silpa Bhirasri National Museum”, which once was the workplace of Ajarn Silpa. Currently, it is utilized as the small museum narrating his life and works.
The exterior exhibted the early Thai contemporary artworks, including works by Silpa’ and his disciples’, such as ‘Sieng Klui Thip’ (the Sound of Magic Flute) by Khien Yimsiri. The interior reproduced the work ethos of Sipa. Another part of the museum is ‘Ho Pratimakarm Ton Bab’ (the Hall of Model Sculptures), which exhibits many important model sculptures, located beside the museum.
In the front of the courtyard of Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts, the fist faculty which Sipa founded, located “the Statue of Professor Silpa Bhirasri”, the life-size bronze statue. Every 15th of September of the year, which is the birthday anniversary of Silpa, there will be Silpa Bhirasri Day Commemoration and tribute ritual by students on this courtyard.