Images of Mary – Help Us Recreate an Artwork

Is your name María? Do you live in Hafnarfjörður? Would you like to take part in an artwork?

At this time, Hafnarborg is working on a retrospective of works by artist Þorvaldur Þorsteinsson (1960-2013), called Long Are the Trials of Man. At this exhibition, one of the artist‘s works, Images of Mary will be recreated, but Þorvaldur first exhibited said work at a show in the Akureyri Art Museum in 1996. The upcoming exhibition at Hafnarborg is set to open on Þorvaldur‘s birthday, November 7th.

Images of Mary is an artwork which calls for participation, as the artist made a request for pictures on loan from anyone named María, living in Akureyri. The pictures he subsequently exhibited together in one space of the museum, under soft lighting and an air of holiness. In this way, he made a reference to sacred images of Mary, with an equal mix of the holy and the homely.

Hafnarborg now makes a similar request, asking all those named María (or Mary etc.), living in Hafnarfjörður, to lend the museum pictures of themselves to exhibit at this upcoming retrospective. The picture can be a passport photo or a larger photograph, a phone selfie or a picture from the family photo album, drawing or a painting, if available, a portrait or a wide shot, according to preference. The size or age of the image is also not important, with variety being seen as optimal.

The picture can either be delivered to the front desk of the museum, during opening hours, or sent via email to hafnarborg@hafnarfjordur.is, including information about the full name and phone number of the lender. Pictures can be turned in until October 10th. After the exhibition has come to an end, participants will be able to get their pictures back at the front desk of the museum.

If you are interested but have some questions, please contact us via telephone at 585 5790.

Tónagull – Music Workshops in Polish This Winter

Tónagull is a research-based music workshop, based on many years of practice and created especially for children belonging to the youngest age group, as well as their parents. Since September 2019, workshops have also been held regularly in Polish with much success. In collaboration with Hafnarfjörður and Hafnarborg, it is now also available to Polish families living in Hafnafjörður, but the first music workshops in Polish took place at the museum in spring 2020.

The workshops will be held once a week at Hafnarborg – every Sunday at 12 p.m., from September 19th – in a form resembling a musical game, which both children and their guardians can enjoy. These music workshops are tailored to the needs of children aged 8-10 months, but both younger and older participants (up to 3 years old) will be able to enjoy the classes by discovering the world through sounds.

The first Tónagull workshop took place in January 2004 and the meetings have been enjoying increasing popularity ever since. The positive reception of the workshops is also evidenced by the fact that parents participating in the meetings often come back again when new children appear in their lives. The method was developed by Helga Rut Guðmundsdóttir, lecturer at the University of Iceland.

During the classes, we will work:

  • in Polish
  • based on popular children’s songs and original compositions

We will also use a specially prepared set of simple, child-safe musical instruments. You don’t need to have any musical preparation to participate in the workshops. The teacher in charge of the workshops will guide the participants step by step through the entire structure of the classes with the help of subsequent musical games. Here you can find the website of the workshop in Polish.

Come and see for yourself how enriching it is to make music together. The participation fee for each class is only 500 ISK. Please click here to sign up.


Tónagull – warsztaty dla rodziców z dziećmi w wieku 0-3
Niedzielę o godz. 12, w Hafnarborg

Tónagull to oparta o wieloletnią praktykę metoda warsztatów muzycznych utworzona specjalnie z myślą o dzieciach należących do najmłodszej grupy wiekowej i ich rodzicach. Od września 2019 spotkania w języku polskim odbywają się regularnie w Reykjaviku i cieszą się ogromną popularnością. Dzięki wsparciu miasta Hafnarfjörður oraz centrum sztuki Hafnarborg teraz dostępna będzie także dla polskich rodzin mieszkających w Hafnafjörður.

Spotkania będą się odbywać – w każdą niedzielę o godz. 12, począwszy od 19 września – a ich forma przypomina muzyczną zabawę, z której radość czerpią zarówno dzieci, jak i ich opiekunowie. Warsztaty znakomicie odpowiadają na potrzeby dzieci w wieku 8-10 miesięcy, jednak zarówno młodsi, jak i starsi uczestnicy (do ok. 3 roku życia) będą w równym stopniu cieszyć się przebiegiem zajęć odkrywając świat za pomocą dźwięków.

Pierwsze warsztaty Tónagull odbyły się w styczniu 2004 i od tamtej pory spotkania cieszą się wciąż rosnącą popularnością. O pozytywnym odbiorze warsztatów świadczy także fakt, że rodzice uczestniczący w spotkaniach często wracają kolejny raz, kiedy w ich życiu pojawiają się nowe pociechy. Metoda opracowana została przez Helgę Rut Guðmundsdóttir, wykładowczynię na Uniwersytecie Islandzkim.

Na zajęciach pracować będziemy:

  • w języku polskim
  • w oparciu o popularne piosenki dziecięce oraz oryginalne kompozycje

Będziemy także korzystać ze specjalnie przygotowanego zestawu prostych, bezpiecznych dla dzieci instrumentów muzycznych. Aby uczestniczyć w warsztatach nie musisz mieć żadnego przygotowania muzycznego! Kierujący warsztatami pedagog przeprowadzi uczestników krok po kroku przez całą strukturę zajęć za pomocą kolejnych muzycznych zabaw. Zapraszamy na stronę internetową warsztatów po polsku.

Przyjdź, aby przekonać się jak niezwykle wzbogacającym doświadczeniem jest wspólne muzykowanie. Koszt jednych zajęć wynosi tylko 500 ISK. Kliknij tutaj by się zapisać.

Autumn Exhibition 2022 – Call for Proposals

As in previous years, curators will get a chance to submit proposals for next year’s Autumn Exhibition at Hafnarborg. The Autumn Exhibition Series began in the 2011 and since then eleven exhibitions have been produced as a part of the series. This year‘s autumn exhibition, Community of Sentient Beings, which opened on August 28th, was selected by the same method, from the proposals submitted last year.

By calling for proposals, the objective is to collaborate with different curators, who submit interesting proposals for an exhibition, as well as letting new voices be heard. For this reason, curators who are new to the field are encouraged to send in their application. It is evident that a programme of this kind is not without warrant, as it has produced diverse and thought-provoking exhibitions, which have been well received.

The call is for group exhibitions connecting artists or artworks through their subject matter, artistic method or other ideas, but exhibitions analyzing or focusing on a specific aspect of one artist’s work will also be considered. Proposals for exhibitions of contemporary artists’ works or exhibitions entailing historical analysis are welcome as well. The Director and Art Council of Hafnarborg will review the proposals and select the winning proposal.

The deadline to submit proposals is until midnight, Sunday October 10th.

Applications are only accepted via email at hafnarborg@hafnarfjordur.is.


Application process

The application process is divided into two parts. For more details about the process and the required material, please read on.

Part 1

For the first part of the application process, we ask for the following information:

  • Description of the project with an emphasis on the idea underlying the exhibition (1000 words maximum).
  • CV of the curator(s).
  • Short CV of the artist or artists, as well as others that might become part of the exhibition project.

Please provide as detailed a description as possible, while respecting the maximum word count. We will also accept illustrative material that is descriptive for the project, though this is not required. Applicants are encouraged to acquaint themselves with Hafnarborg’s layout and spaces before submitting the proposal. The Art Council of Hafnarborg, alongside the Director, will review all proposals and select those that will move on to the second part of the application process.

Part 2

The curators, whose proposals were selected for further review, will be asked to present their ideas and provide additional materials, such as exhibition catalogues, illustrative material or videos, as well as working on a realistic budget plan for the project. The budget plan for the exhibition, including its preparation, is expected to be in keeping with the museum’s financial plan, otherwise being funded through special grants.

When reviewing the proposal, the following will be taken into special consideration:

  • Selection of artists.
  • Whether the exhibition introduces an innovative view of the arts, for example in relation to its context and/or media.
  • Whether the exhibition includes new or older works, or even a mixture of both.
  • Whether the exhibition has a special relevance to Hafnarborg, for example to its collection, its surroundings etc.
  • Whether the exhibition makes use of Hafnarborg’s exhibition space in a creative way.
  • The curators’ experience and CV (specifically seeking curators in the early stages of their career).
  • Suggestions for programming in connection with the exhibition (curatorial talks, artist talks, seminars etc.).
  • Ideas for a possible publication.
  • That the budget of the project is within reasonable limits (a more precise cost assessment will take place in the later part of the process).

Sketches of Hafnarborg’s floor plan can be found here. These are intended to be used as a guide, as it is not required that the curators design the exhibition to match the space precisely.


Please send all proposals via email to hafnarborg@hafnarfjordur.is, with the subject “Autumn Exhibition 2021”. In response, we will send a message confirming that we have received the proposal, but we urge you to contact us at (354) 585 5790, if you do not receive said confirmation. Finally, all applicants will be kept informed about the status of their proposals, in due course. All results will be sent via email.

Further information is provided by the office of Hafnarborg at (354) 585 5790.

Community of Sentient Beings – Tears Wanted

Artist Gígja Jónsdóttir reaches out to the public for tears for her work in the group exhibition Community of Sentient Beings, on view at Hafnarborg from August 28th until October 31st 2021.

Teargivers will be sent a vial to collect their tears, which they then pour into a well of tears at the museum, at any time during the exhibition period.

If you want to contribute your tears, please contact the artist with information of your full name, address and phone number via email to gigjajons@gmail.com.

Discotheque – Exhibition Ending August 15th

Now is your last chance to see Arnfinnur Amazeen‘s exhibition, Discotheque, which has been on view at the museum this summer, but the exhibition is set to end on Sunday August 15th. So we encourage you all to lace up your boots – either with or without plastic bags – before visiting Hafnarborg to experience the artist‘s special discotheque. The curator of the exhibition is H.K. Rannversson.

At the exhibition, the artist presents new works, drawing inspiration from the ambiguous imagery of Icelandic night club culture in the seventies and eighties. While the title makes a reference to revelry, what we have here is nonetheless a rather dreary discotheque, no glitz and no glamour. Only the resounding silence of a noisy past.

The museum is open all days, except Tuesdays, 12-5 p.m. and entry is free, as always.

Covid-19 – Current Guidelines for Museums

On Saturday August 28th, new guidelines for museums were issued, in regard to public gatherings. According to these rules, museums are now allowed to welcome up to 200 guests in each space, where a distance of one metre shall be kept between unrelated parties. Additionally, when and where it is not possible to maintain this distance, guests are required to wear masks and so we ask the guests of the museum to help us abide by these rules.

The current guidelines will be in effect until September 17th.

Terra Incognita – Cartoons from Iceland and Slovakia

The Free Feeling project and the Terra Incognita cartoon exhibition of Slovak and Icelandic authors aims to bring this untraditional art to people in both countries. Cartoons certainly represent a universal language, being a probe to human thinking that responds to both the inner world of the authors and external influences.

Last year, five exhibitions of the participants’ works were displayed in Slovakia at cultural events, festivals and workshops. Icelandic audiences now get the chance to view the exhibition and appreciate the works of two Icelandic and two Slovak cartoonists: Elín Elísabet Einarsdóttir, Fero Jablonovský, Hugleikur Dagsson and Bobo Pernecký.

The exhibition is located in Hafnarborg’s Apótek gallery, on the ground floor of the museum, and is open to guests during regular opening hours of the museum.

The Hafnarborg Songfest 2021 – Perseverence

The Hafnarborg Songfest will take place for the fifth time from June 19th until July 4th 2021.

The Songfest will feature a great number of excellent musicians, as well as a diverse programme. The Perseverence that has helped us all make it through the difficult pandemic is this year’s theme. Music and poetry convey shared human emotion across time and borders, helping us understand ourselves and find connections with others, inspiring and teaching us to appreciate the beautiful things in life, in hope of better times ahead.

This year’s programme, including information about courses, concerts and performers can be found at www.songhatid.com.

The artistic directors and founders of the Hafnarborg Songfest are Guðrún Jóhanna Ólafsdóttir and Francisco Javier Jáuregui.

Artists of the Year 2021 Exhibiting at Hafnarborg

All of us at Hafnarborg would like to congratulate Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson for receiving the Icelandic Art Prize 2021, as Artists of the Year, for their work In Search of Magic – A Proposal for a New Constitution for The Republic of Iceland.

Ólafur and Libia will open their next exhibition, Magic Meeting – A Decade On, at Hafnarborg on Saturday March 20th, but the exhibition presents work based on the aforementioned performance, which was staged by the artists and The Magic Team, taking place at the Reykjavík Art Museum, in the city centre, outside the Prime Minister’s Office and the Parliament House, on October 3rd of last year.

We also congratulate everyone else honoured at this year‘s ceremony.

Hafnarborg Summer Workshops 2021

This summer, Hafnarborg will offer workshops for children, 6–12 years old. The groups will go on field trips in Hafnarfjörður and basic techniques of art will be introduced by exploring the environment, the museum’s exhibitions, creative work and play.

The children will work on projects in different media – drawing, painting and moulding – with the aim of developing visual focus and inspiring creative thought and personal expression. The instructor will be Ólöf Bjarnadóttir.

Two 5-day and one 4-day workshops will be available for ages 6–9 and 10–12. None of the workshops will be the same, so it is possible to attend more than one workshop, as in previous years. The workshop starting June 21st will also bring in elements of music to the creative process.

The following summer workshops are available:

June 14th–18th*
6–9 years old: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
10–12 years old: 1–4 p.m.
*June 17th is a national holiday

June 21st–25th
6–9 years old: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
10–12 years old: 1–4 p.m.

June 28th–July 2nd
6–9 years old: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
10–12 years old: 1–4 p.m.

The price of the 5-day workshop is 14,000 ISK and the price of the 4-day workshop is 11,600 ISK.

  • Sibling discount: full price for the first child, with a 50% discount for each additional sibling.
  • Please inform us of any special needs or requirements.

Please note that there is limited availability for the summer workshops.

Registration is open from Wednesday April 28th via the website of Hafnarfjörður or directly through the registration network. For further information, please call (354) 585 5790 or send an email to hafnarborg@hafnarfjordur.is.