Artists' Books

In this exhibition we are introduced to examples of Icelandic artists' books from the collection of the National and University Library of Iceland. Examples of printmaking dating all the way back to the latter part of the 19th century to modern day book art.

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The Colic Leaf

In the manuscripts collection at the National and University Library of Iceland, you may find a 400 year old vellum, dark and obscure with age, with the shelfmark Lbs fragm. 14. This vellum is now exhibited at the Culture House.

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Churches of Iceland: as seen by museum directors and a bishop

During the 20th century, Iceland‘s churches and ecclesiastical objects were studied by three people, each of whom kept records in pictorial form. A selection of pictures by the three researchers provides an insight into Icelandic church buildings and the cultural heritage manifested in them.

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Myth of a Woman

Agnieszka Sosnowska immigrated to Iceland 13 years ago. With her photographs she has documented a path in life she never planned or expected. She photographs herself, her students, new family members and friends. Her inspiration is the strength of the female spirit she has found in Iceland.  

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Life, as it is lived, before the transformation

In Árneshreppur farmers live in harmony with their animals and nature. Yrsa Roca Fannberg has captured daily life in the smallest parish of Iceland just before a transformation that seems to be around the corner.  

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The Book of Lies

The Book of Lies is the name of a journal left by Pike Ward - an English fish merchant proclaimed as ‘The Best Known Man in Iceland’ in the early twentieth century, but largely forgotten soon after.

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Pike Ward's Iceland Photographs, objects and cuttings from the collection of an English fish merchant

Pike Ward (1856–1937) was an Englishman who became a well-known figure in Iceland around 1900. He first came to Iceland in 1893, and until 1915 he spent part of each year here, purchasing fish. Pike Ward operated one of the first trawlers in Icelandic waters and promoted utilisation of smaller fish from the catch – which came to be known as „vorðfiskur“ or “Ward's fish.” Ward paid the fishermen who supplied him in cash, previously unheard of in the fish business in Iceland.

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In the Light
  • 18.01.2020 - 30.08.2020 The Photo Gallery - National Museum of Iceland

Gunnar Pétursson, an amateur photographer from Reykjavík, had a long and remarkable career. Whether he photographed nature, the city or its people, all his work was characterised by his subjective view of his surroundings. He saw surfaces, shapes and textures, and strove to capture light and motion in his pictures. He was an active participant in the wave of amateur photography in Iceland in the years after World War II, when new perspectives and trends arrived, and photographic art came into being.

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Looking North
  • 18.01.2020 - 30.08.2020 The Wall - National Museum of Iceland

Jessica Auer sets out to explore Iceland's sightseeing destinations, and records tourists' surroundings through her photographic lens. In her pictures, travellers and their material world blend together with the natural surroundings. Tourism is manifested as a transformative force within the Icelandic landscape, and is depicted with visual clarity. Jessica Auer stands apart from her subject, observing from afar like a visitor in an unfamiliar world. Altered landscapes have been addressed through contemporary photography for quite some time, and here, the tourism sector plays a significant role.

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Churches of Iceland: Ornamenta et instrumenta. Developments and trends

After nearly two decades of work in research and publishing of the book series Kirkjur Íslands (Churches of Iceland), the National Museum holds the exhibition Skrúði og áhöld. Straumar og stefnur (Ornamenta et instrumenta. Developments and trends). The research involved in the preparation of the Churches of Iceland series has given rise to a new and remarkable perspective on ecclesiastical objects and vestments in Iceland's listed historical churches.

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Natur-logo

The Book of Lies

The Book of Lies is the name of a journal left by Pike Ward - an English fish merchant proclaimed as ‘The Best Known Man in Iceland' in the early twentieth century, but largely forgotten soon after.

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The Long Apartment Block in Upper Breiðholt
  • The Photo Gallery - 2018

The building measures 320 metres, bearing a resemblance to a great wall. With its twenty staircases and 200 apartments, it is home to a few hundred people. David Barreiro has photographed the building, the interiors of the apartments, and its inhabitants who share the experience of moving to Iceland from across the world.

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SPIritual

Photographs by Heiða Helgadóttir on contemporary religious practice. 

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Ísland í heiminum

Iceland in the World, the World in Iceland
  • The Arc Hall - 2016 - 2017

Iceland, in both past and present, has been characterised by transnationalism – just like other countries in the world. Iceland has thus been a part of the mobility of people and ideas through the centuries. It is important to highlight this in the present, when current discourse is often based on the idea that in the past different parts of the world existed in isolation from each other. Prejudices are nothing new in Icelandic society, as for centuries Icelanders' ideas have been influenced by global conceptions of race.

In November 2016 the exhibition Iceland in the world, the world in Iceland was opened in the Arc Hall of the National Museum. The exhibition is based on research by anthropologists Kristín Loftsdóttir and Unnur Dís Skaptadóttir and their students at the University of Iceland. The exhibition shows that Iceland, in both past and present, has been characterized by transnationalism – just like other countries in the world. Iceland has thus been the platform for people's mobility and ideas over centuries.

 

Grímsey
  • The Wall - 2017

Inga Lisa

Thoughts of Home - Inga Lísa Middleton
  • The Wall - 2017

The title of the exhibition Thoughts of home refers to the subject of the photographs and their dreamlike hue. The photographer Inga Lísa Middleton lives in the United Kingdom and exhibits at the Wall of the Photographic Gallery photographs from her home country Iceland. The photographs are printed using a method called Cyanotype, giving them their characteristic blue tint. 

Fishing Stations of Old Iceland
  • The Wall - 2018

Karl Jeppesen has photographed old fishing stations and camps around Iceland. On The Wall a selection of these photographs is exhibited. The abandoned fishing stations are in varying conditions. Some are clearly visible, but others have disappeared from the face of the earth. 

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Splendid saddlery
  • The Arc Hall - 2018

Horsemen and -women took pride in high-quality and ornamental riding equipment. A beautifully-decorated saddle was a valuable possession. In past centuries women generally rode in a side-saddle with both legs on one side of the horse or "aside", while men rode "astride".

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Family Photos with a Difference
  • The Photo Gallery - 2018

Nanna Bisp Büchert has made a name for herself in Danish photography. Some of her work references Iceland, but none so powerfully as Family Photos with a Difference.

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Who’s in the Picture?
  • The Photo Gallery - 2018

In the early days, photography was largely the preserve of professionals. One of the many portrait photographers in Reykjavík in the first half of the 20th century was Alfreð D. Jónsson, who ran a studio from 1931 to 1935 at Klapparstígur 37, and then at Laugavegur 23 from 1935 to 1952.

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Jar

Bundled-up in Blue
  • The Corner - 2015 - 2018

An exhibition based on new research on the bones and grave good found in a settlement-era grave.

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A Woman's Place...
  • The Arc Hall - 2015 - 2016

The exhibition A Woman's Place... examines the working lives of Icelandic women from 1915 to 2015.

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EyeSound
  • The Photo Gallery - 2018

Photography: Iben West and Else Ploug Isaksen

Words: Sigurbjörg Þrastardóttir, Kristín Ómarsdóttir, Hallgrímur Helgason and Einar Már Guðmundsson 

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Síra Arnór Árnason

Kaldal's Portraits and Kaldal, Time and Space
  • The Photo Gallery - 2016 - 2017

This year marks 120 years since birth of photographer Jón Kaldal (1896-1981). On this occasion, two exhibitions on his works will open at the National Museum of Iceland. 

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Steinholt – a Story of the Origin of Names
  • The Photo Gallery - 2017

The exhibition Steinholt – a Story of the Origin of Names is about the memory of a place. Christopher Taylor has spent time in Þórshöfn, North-East Iceland, and travelled the area to capture the landscape and tell stories of memories connected with Steinholt. 

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Birds, Fjord and Iceland Photographs by Björn Björnsson
  • The Photo Gallery - 2017

Björn Björnsson (1889-1977) was a self-taught photographer who worked as such in Iceland's Eastfjords alongside his work as a retailer in Norðfjörður mainly, but also in Seyðisfjörður and Djúpivogur. In later years, Björn specialised in nature photography and travelled the country for this purpose. His photographs of birds were published in newspapers and magazines, such as British Birds. An exhibition of Björn Björnsson's photographs will be on view in the Photo Gallery of the National Museum of Iceland 3.6.-17.9.2017.