A french family on holiday visiting the Jim Thompson House museum. At the back is father Guillaume and mother Siew Beau. In front from left are the children Lea (13 yrs), Naël (9 yrs) and Camille (12 yrs). The Jim Thompson House is a museum in Bangkok. It is a complex of various old Thai structures that the American businessman Jim Thompson collected in from all parts of Thailand in the 1950s and 60s. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand.
As Thompson was building his silk company, he also became a major collector of Southeast Asian art, which at the time was not well known internationally. He built a large collection of Buddhist and secular art not only from Thailand but from Burma, Cambodia and Laos, frequently travelling to those countries on buying trips.
In 1958 he began what was to be the pinnacle of his architectural achievement, a new home to showcase his art collection. Formed from parts of six antique Thai houses, his home (completed in 1959) sits on a klong (canal) across from Bangkrua, where his weavers were then located. Most of the 19th-century houses were dismantled and moved from Ayutthaya, but the largest - a weaver's house (now the living room) - came from Bangkuar.