Hafnarborg’s collection now holds around 1400 works of art. The chemist, Sverrir Magnússon, and his wife, Ingibjörg Sigurjónsdóttir, laid the foundations to the museum with an extensive donation of artwork in 1983. The painter Eiríkur Smith also made a large contribution of art in 1990, and so did Elías B. Halldórsson and Gunnar Hjaltson, who both donated their own graphic works. Many other artists and individuals have contributed to the collection, and Hafnarborg also strives to purchase works in accordance with the museum’s policy and budget. Selections from the collection are exhibited on a regular basis.
Hafnarborg’s collection is fully listed online in the electronic museum collection database Sarpur (www.sarpur.is), which is open to the public. It should be noted though, that not all of the catalogued works are available as images because Myndstef, The Icelandic Visual Art Copyright Association, opposes the right of museums to grant access to images of artworks within online collection databases. While this matter has not been settled the museum can only make available images of artwork by artists who have granted permission for public access to the images in Sarpur.