The Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum
Explore this fascinating museum just outside Akureyri
The Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum was founded in 1995, and the museum collects and displays works by folk-, contemporary and outsider artists – who have an honest and direct connection to an original creative spirit; authentic, unspoiled and free. The core collection consists of thousands of artworks and sketches by more than 300 artists, dating from the mid19th century to the present.
The museum’s exhibition space has ten separate galleries of various sizes, a total of 500 square metres of exhibition space. There are rotating exhibitions each year featuring works from the collection and visiting artists.
This summer, until September 10th, the museum is presenting 12 new exhibitions featuring the works of artists and students. The emphasis is on fresh ideas and refined craftsmanship, including glassblowing, embroidery, silverwork, ceramics, photography, screen printing, and woodwork. One of the themes explored in 2023 is how visual art can help individuals cope with self-harm and contain it. Despite the seriousness of the content, the museum’s exhibitions are bright, colourful and accessible to all.
This summer, the museum showcases three visual artists whose lives were marked by great adversity in the Created from Collections exhibitions. In the Middle Room, there is a memorial exhibition featuring works by Pálmi Kristinn Arngrímsson (1930-2015) titled The Garden at Home, while the West Room presents In a Bright Room, a series of paintings by Hjálmar Stefánsson (1913-1989). In the East Room, there is another memorial exhibition of works by artist Nonni Ragnas (1951-2019) titled Love is a Lovely Game.
In the foyer and Flower Room, the exhibition Family and Friends show works by Guðjón R. Sigurðsson, Helgi Þórsson, students from Valsárskóla elementary school, and children from the Álfaborg nursery school in Svalbarðseyri.
Meanwhile, in the Doll Room, an exhibition features dolls and costumes from around the world and a collection of works by B. Sóley Pétursdóttir entitled Silenced – Never Again.
This year, the museum received a gift of 2,500 textile works collected by Jenný Karlsdóttir, which will be stored in a special department dedicated to her. Embroidery works from her collection are displayed in the exhibition Home Adornments as well as embroidery works and plates by Sísí Ingólfsdóttir.
This summer the museum also displays works of art by Stefán Tryggva- og Sigríðarson, Klemens Hannigan, Anna Hallin, Olga Bergmann, Hildur María Hansdóttir, Guðmundur Ármann and Brynhildur Þorgeirsdóttir.
The Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum is located in North Iceland, near Svalbarðseyri, about 10 minutes’ drive eastwards from the town of Akureyri, on the opposite side of the fjord.