Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum
The former home and studio of the endlessly experimental sculptor Sigurjón Ólafsson, opened as a museum by his widow.
Similar studio museums...
- Polenovo Museum, Russia - beloved home of Vasily Polenov (1844-1927), now a museum managed entirely by his descendants
- Hendrik Christian Andersen Museum, Italy - the studio designed by Andersen (1872-1940), a Danish sculptor famed for his portrait busts
- The Einar Jónsson Museum, Iceland - a gallery donated to Iceland by the sculptor Einar Jónsson (1874-1954), who lived on the top floor
- Temporary exhibitions
- Musical events programme
Sigurjón Ólafsson (1908-1982) trained at the Danish Academy of Fine Arts and continued to work in Denmark for much of the 1930s and 40s. He became known for his portrait busts, and for works such as Stacking Salt Fish (1934-35) that celebrated the traditions of the Icelandic working class. Ólafsson's first purely abstract sculpture, Man and Woman (1939) caused great controversy in Denmark but marked his increasing movement towards abstraction, and his characteristic desire to experiment. On returning to Iceland in 1945 he responded to several state commissions - many of his public sculptures can still be seen in Reykjavik.
The Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum is based in Ólafsson's former studio, and the home he shared with his wife, Birgitta Spur. After his death, his widow converted both spaces into exhibition rooms and established the building as a private gallery for her collection of his sculptures. The Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum opened as a public museum in 1988; in 2012, it joined the National Gallery of Iceland. Today, it displays a range of Ólafsson's sculptures, many donated by Birgitta Spur, and extensive archival and photographic material. The museum's exhibitions and musical events programme have established it as one of Reykjavik's best-loved public institutions.