Piriya Krairiksh Foundation

History of Art - New Thinking New Knowledge

Professor Emeritus
Dr. Piriya Krairiksh
Senior Research Scholar
in History of Art

Meet the Founder

Piriya’s talent as an artist was recognized in his teenage years at Harrow School, England, where he won kudos for his paintings. Intending a career as an artist, Piriya trained at the Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting and at the Royal College of Art in London, UK. He further studied under Oscar Kokoschka at The Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in both 1962 and 1963.

He continued as a practicing artist until 1965, during which time he produced some 150 pieces of artwork. One art critic commented “his own early work has defined him as potentially one of Thailand’s greatest artists”. (Herbert P. Phillips, The Integrative Art of Modern Thailand. Seattle: University of Washington Press).

On being introduced to the field of art history, Piriya laid aside his brushes to pursue a new career as an art historian. He gained a bachelor degree with honors in History of Art from Indiana University USA, was awarded a scholarship from JDR3 Foundation and graduated in 1975 from Harvard University with a Ph.D. in History of Art.

Here began his lifelong interest in Dvaravati art through his doctoral thesis ‘The Chula Pathon Cedi: Architecture and Sculpture of Dvaravati’.

Dr. Piriya’s professional career in Art History began in 1976 as Curator of the Arts of Asia at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Returning to Thailand in 1977, he taught at the Faculty of Archeology, Silpakorn University for 2 years then moved to the Department of History, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University. Having taught here for 25 years, he retired with the academic rank of Associate Professor. During this time Dr. Piriya was also a visiting lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK. He served as Director of the Thai Khadi Research Institute from 2003 to 2006.

Dr. Piriya is honoured as a Senior Research Scholar by the Thailand Research Fund. He was President of The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage from 1989 to 1994.

In 2017 Dr. Piriya was appointed Professor Emeritus of Art History, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University.

In later life, Piriya rediscovered the pleasure of being an artist, producing occasional works since 2003. Most of the works in his later artistic period were created from 2016 onwards.

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