The life and legacy of Queen Savang Vadhana, the great grandmother of His Majesty King Rama X is being honoured this week in an exhibition titled “Pathum Niwas Racha Pipittapan” showing at the Lifestyle Hall of Siam Paragon until Sunday (January 26).
Organized by the Queen Savang Vadhana Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the exhibition is divided into four parts; Her Royal Highness’ biography; her remarkable artistic talents that represented Thailand at an international level; her personal belongings; and the history of Queen Savang Vadhana Museum. The Museum was graciously conceived by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who dedicated the Main Building of Sra Pathum Palace for the museum as part of the late King Rama IX’s initiative.
The first section showcases the life of Queen Savang Vadhana, which spanned six reigns.
Section two, “Grace of a Visionary Artist”, displays the Queen’s remarkable artistic talents especially her exceptional haute embroidery skills in the Royal Court. The Queen was highly regarded by King Rama V and oversaw a number of traditional art and craft exhibitions, both in the country and overseas. Her distinguished abilities successfully brought recognition of the artistry of Thai ladies to the eyes of the world, as referenced in the World’s Columbian Exposition 1893 in Chicago, USA.
The third section introduces the Royal initiatives and presents Queen Savang Vadhana’s works that were fruitful and beneficial to the nation and Thai people across many dimensions including public health, medical care, culture, education and humanities. Her Royal Highness’ achievements were recognized by Unesco, who added her to the list of the world great personalities on her 150th birthday anniversary on 10 September 2012.
The final part takes a close look at the Queen Savang Vadhana Museum and the foundation which runs it. It is located in Phra Tamnak Yai, the main building of Sra Pathum Palace, her royal residence constructed over 100 years ago.
Also on display are her letters and selected personal belongings including an antique embroidered fabric partition, a photo book of Thailand that was presented as a gift to Mrs. Palmer, the President of the lady’s talent section at the World’s Columbian Exposition, and traditional Thai sweets that were entered into a contest organized by the fair. Visitors can also enjoy demonstrations and workshops on traditional Thai dishes such as Pan Sib or Rice Ravioli, Bu Lan Dan Mek or Thai steamed rice cake, and learn traditional Thai crafts like making flower garlands and lotus leaf folding art from experts at The Royal Traditional Thai Craft School for Women.