Tai Cultures at Northern Illinois University

Curator, Dr. Catherine Raymond

September 8-9, 2013
Northern Illinois University

To honor the coming of HRH Princess Sirindhorn to NIU, this exhibition presented Tai objects from three different collections on campus: Anthropology, Burma Art Collection, and Maps and Manuscripts from the Founder's Memorial Library.

This exhibition epitomizes the apogee of courtly patronage (Buddha images, khon masks, and gilded lacquer mirrors and boxes given as tributes) and extends to the Tai cultures around the central plain and beyond as represented through textiles, and manuscripts shown in this exhibition. Besides the Buddha head from the early Ayutthaya period and the maps from 1540 AD, this exhibition presents exemplary later pieces from the Ratanakosin period, as well as more contemporary artworks, such as miniature khon masks for the tourist market.

Her Royal Highness’s visit to NIU is the first by a member of the Thai royal family, and only the second campus visit by a royal personage in NIU’s history.