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Siam: Through the lens of John Thomson Exhibition

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Siam: Through the Lens of John Thomson (1837-1921)

In the mid-19th century, John Thomson arrived in Siam with a fairly new invention of those days photography….

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the wonders of 19th-century Southeast Asia as seen through the lens of the intrepid adventurer and photographer, John Thomson. The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum is proud to present an enchanting new exhibition Siam: Through the Lens of John Thomson on display from 21 October 2023 to 14 April 2024, inviting visitors to embark on a captivating journey through time and space. This extraordinary showcase offers a unique glimpse into the captivating landscapes, diverse cultures, and fascinating history of Southeast Asia.

A British photographer with an exceptional eye for detail, Thomson embarked on a groundbreaking journey to Siam during the late Victorian era, with a fairly new invention in those days: photography, capturing scenes that had been scarcely witnessed before in the Western world. Throughout his remarkable career, Thomson ventured into uncharted territories and documented the exotic beauty and cultural richness of Thailand and Cambodia in stunning detail. Featuring dramatic images developed from negatives preserved in London’s Wellcome Collection, this exhibition introduces the sights and people of nineteenth-century Thailand and Cambodia as witnessed by Thomson first hand.  In this new exhibition, visitors to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum will have the privilege of witnessing many meticulously preserved photographs taken by Thomson during his travels, carefully curated to provide an insightful narrative of his exploration. Each image tells a story of its own, serving as a bridge between the past and the present, enabling visitors to forge a deeper connection with the cultures and history of Thailand and Cambodia.

Siam: Through the Lens of John Thomson (1837-1921) is running from 21 October 2023 to 14 April 2024.

21 October 2023 – 14 April 2024

Exhibition included with general admission ticket.

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21st October 23 - 14th April 24

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Additional Information

Access Information
The exhibition is in Galleries III & IV, these are accessible from the Historic House via a set of four steps with handrail or via the platform lift.
Large Print labels available

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