Originally was the personal museum of King Rama IV with a collection of antiques and royal gifts, King Rama V subsequently oepened the Sahathai Samakhom Pavilion (Concordia Tower) in the Grand Palace grounds as a public museum. It was then moved to the three palace buildings on the front palace (Wang Na) King Rama VII then gave over all buildings in the front palace to be the Bangkok Museum.
Exhibition areas are devided into 3 groups:
1. Thai Nation History: from the Kingdom of Sukhothai to Rattanakosm Period, exhibits in the Siwamok Phiman Hall.
2. History of art and archaeology in Thailand: Devided into two periods, prehistory, at the back of the Siwamok Phiman Hall and the historical period, exhibiting sculpture from the 18th century B.E. to Rattanakosin period at Prasat Phiphithaphan Building, and sculpture from before this period on display in the Maha Surasinghanat Building.
3. Fine arts and ethnology: includes displays of musical instruments, Nielloware, Gold, Mother-of-Pearl inlay, Wood Carvings, Old Textiles, Khon Masks, Puppets etc. in the group of Palace Buildings.
Funeral Chariot Hall displays funeral carriages and other paraphernalia of Royal Cremations.