An Urban Archive as an English Garden – Live Events

Every Saturday, during the course of the exhibition An Urban Archive as an English Garden, a programme of live events will be presented, where composer Davíð Brynjar Franzson‘s collaborators engage with and activate the exhibition through the playing of live instruments, as well as with their own presence. The live performance will respond to and reflect on moments within the soundscape, a sonic garden, which guest can explore, alongside the performer, on their own terms in both time and space. The events take place twice during the day in the exhibition space, at 2:30 and 4 p.m., on the following dates:


August 29th
Júlía Mogensen, cellist
live performance in Hafnarborg

September 5th
Matt Barbier, trombonist
live stream from Los Angeles

September 12th
Russell Greenberg, percussionist
live stream from New York

September 19th
Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, violinist
live performance in Hafnarborg

September 26th
Matt Barbier, trombonist
live stream from Los Angeles

October 3rd
Russell Greenberg, percussionist
live stream from New York

October 17th
Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, violinist
live stream from Malmö

October 24th
Júlía Mogensen, cellist
live performance in Hafnarborg


On October 10th, Skerpla, a group of students at the music department of the Iceland University of the Arts, under the guidance of Berglind María Tómasdóttir, professor, will host their own event in the space, working from the ideas and perspectives offered by Davíð.

Midday Concert – Fully Booked

Please note that Gissur Páll Gissurarson’s Midday Concert is already fully booked for tomorrow, Tuesday September 1st at 12 p.m.

We are very grateful for the incredible response and look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

We would also like to remind you that the concert will be streamed online, both here and on our Facebook page.

Please Note – Museum Open as Usual

In concordance with the recommendations made by Iceland‘s Chief Epidemiologist, which took effect July 31st, we would like to announce that the museum will be open as usual, at least for the time being, assuring the fulfilment of all conditions laid out by authorities.

As before, we place a special focus on hygiene and preventive measures, regularly sterilizing points of common contact, reminding guests to keep a distance of two metres from each other, both in the exhibition rooms and the museum reception, as well as offering easy access to hand sanitizer and wash basins.

The museum is open all days, except Tuesdays, from 12–5 p.m. and entry is free.

Summer Season – Offices Closed

Please note that the offices of Hafnarborg will be closed for the summer season from July 13th until August 4th.

The museum will however remain open as usual, from 12–5 p.m. all days, except Tuesdays.

Free entry and everyone welcome.

Je veux vivre – Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir

We wish you all, near and far, a very Happy Icelandic National Day and bid you welcome to Hafnarborg, to celebrate with us.

On this occasion, we would like to share this video of renowned soprano Diddú, Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir, performing the lively aria “Je veux vivre” from the opera Roméo et Juliette by Gounod, accompanied by Antonía Hevesi, pianist and artistic director of the Hafnarborg Midday Concert Series.

The museum is open today from 12–5 p.m. and entry is free, as usual, but, in addition, live jazz music will be playing at the museum in the afternoon.

Casta diva – Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir

This month‘s Midday Concert can unfortunately not take place, due to current circumstances, despite the new guidelines for the ban on public gatherings that took effect yesterday. Then there will still be some disruption to our schedule here at Hafnarborg, mainly in regards to concerts and other big events.

Instead, we will continue to share things with you online, both music and art, and now we would like to share with you a wonderful musical piece, as renowned soprano Diddú, Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir, performs the aria “Casta diva” from the opera Norma by Bellini, accompanied by Antonía Hevesi, the artistic director of the Hafnarborg Midday Concert Series, on piano.

We look forward to sharing more art with you, both here on social media and in the real world, but the museum has now finally reopened its doors to guests.

Hafnarborg Summer Workshops 2020

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.

Three 5-day workshops will be available for ages 6–9 and 10–12, where 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. None of the workshops will be the same, so it is possible to attend more than one workshop, as in previous years. The instructors will be Ólöf Bjarnadóttir and Unnur Mjöll S. Leifsdóttir.

The last workshop will also bring in elements of music to the creative process, as half of each day will be dedicated to visual arts, while the other half will be dedicated to music, under the guidance of Ingibjörg Fríða Helgadóttir and Sigurður Ingi Einarsson, but the focus of these musical workshops will be on sparking and encouraging the creativity of the participants – everything is allowed, nothing is forbidden and no ideas are considered bad.

At the musical workshops, the participants work with both music and lyrics to create some sort of final piece, which they will then perform at a special Family Concert at the Hafnarborg Songfest. The participants can play their own instruments, sing or even create a new instrument. However, being able to play an instrument is not necessary, as the instructors will ensure that everyone gets a chance to shine. Entry to the Family Concert is free, but the concert will take place on Friday July 3rd at 5 p.m.

The following summer workshops are available:

June 12th–19th
6–9 years old: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
10–12 years old: 1–4 p.m.

June 22nd–26th
6–9 years old: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
10–12 years old: 1–4 p.m.

June 29th–July 3rd
6–9 years old: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
10–12 years old: 1–4 p.m.

The price of each 5-day workshop is 14.000 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.

Registration will open on Wednesday May 13th through the Vala Network. Please note that there is limited availability for the summer workshops. For further information, please call 585 5790 or send an email to hafnarborg@hafnarfjordur.is.

Hafnarfjörður – Online Exhibition and Video Tour

In this video tour, Ágústa Kristófersdóttir talks about select works from the Hafnarborg Collection, all of which depict the town of Hafnarfjörður, though each in its own way. There, we see the town through the eyes of artists – including some of the leading artists of our nation – working in different times and in different media, such as painting, drawing, print and photography.

The works featured here are by Jón Hróbjartsson, Hörður Ágústsson, Nína Tryggvadóttir, Gunnlaugur Scheving, Greta Björnsson, Eggert F. Guðmundsson, Gunnar Hjaltason, Pétur Friðrik Sigurðsson, Jón Þorleifsson, Erla Stefánsdóttir, Árni B. Elfar, Spessi and Astrid Kruse Jensen.

In addition to this video tour, we have opened a special online exhibition on the website of Sarpur (only accessible in Icelandic, at this moment), where you can learn more about these works, as well as find information on other works in the Hafnarborg Collection.

Captions available in English and Icelandic.

Autumn Exhibition 2021 – Call for Proposals

As in previous years, curators will get the chance to submit proposals for Hafnarborg’s autumn exhibition of next year. The autumn exhibition series began in the 2011 and since then ten exhibitions have been produced as a part of the series. This year‘s autumn exhibition, The Wildflower, which opened on August 29th, 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. In this way, special attention is given to curators who are new to the field. It is evident that a program of this kind is not without warrant, as it has produced diverse and thought-provoking exhibitions, which have drawn attention and gotten good attendance.

The call is for exhibitions connecting subject matter, method or other ideas of artists’ works, 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 also welcome. The Director and Art Council of Hafnarborg review the proposals and select the winning proposal each year.

The deadline to submit proposals is until midnight, Sunday October 25th.

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 exhibition project with an emphasis on the idea behind the exhibition (1000 words maximum).
  • CV of the curators.
  • Short CV of the artist/artists and others that will be 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. Make an effort to get acquainted with Hafnarborg’s gallery spaces and layout 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 that submitted the proposals that were selected for further evaluation 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 exhibition. The budget plan for the exhibition, including its preparation, is expected to be in accordance with the museum’s financial plan, otherwise making plans to seek special financial support for the project.

When evaluating the proposal, the following will be taken under 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 museum collection, its surroundings etc.
  • Whether the exhibition makes use of Hafnarborg’s exhibition space in a creative way.
  • The curators’ experience and CV (specifically looking for curators in the earlier part of their career).
  • Suggestions for programming connected to the exhibition (curatorial talks, artist talks, seminars etc.).
  • Suggestions for a possible publication.
  • That the financial aspect of the project is within reasonable limits (a more precise assessment of the cost will take place in the later part of the process).

Sketches of Hafnarborg’s floor plan can be viewed here. They can be used for the proposals, although it is not required that the exhibition be designed precisely for the space.


Please send all proposals via email to hafnarborg@hafnarfjordur.is, under the subject “Autumn Exhibition 2021”. In response, we will send a message confirming that we have received the proposal. If no confirmation is received, feel free to call us at (354) 585 5790. All results will be sent via email.

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

Ban on Public Gatherings – Open from May 4th

Hafnarborg will reopen to guests, in accordance with new guidelines for the ban on public gatherings, from Monday May 4th. The museum will be open as before, all days, except Tuesdays, from 12 p.m.–5 p.m., and entry is free.

At Hafnarborg, we currently have the exhibition Silent Spring, by Hertta Kiiski, Katrín Elvarsdóttir and Lilja Birgisdóttir, curated by Daría Sól Andrews. There, they invoke a tender warmth towards nature, while calling attention to the effects of our wasteful practices on the environment. The exhibition is a part of The Icelandic Photo Festival.

We will uphold an increased focus on hygiene, especially in regards to points of common contact, door knobs, handrails and the like. Furthermore, guests are encouraged to keep a certain distance from each other, both in the exhibition rooms and the museum reception.

We look forward to welcoming you again at Hafnarborg – in the real world.