Far – End of Exhibition and Online Tour

The exhibition Far opened as a part of The Icelandic Photo Festival at the beginning of the year, but ended last week due to a stricter ban on public gatherings. For that reason, we have taken down the exhibition, to be able to use the time and the space to focus on the inner workings of the museum, reviewing and reorganizing the art collection of Hafnarborg.

At the exhibition, works by artist Þórdís Jóhannesdóttir entered into dialogue with works by Ralph Hannam, an amateur photographer who was active in Iceland in the mid-twentieth century. Even though the exhibition may be over, you now get a chance to experience it online, through this tour, where Ágústa Kristófersdóttir, Director of Hafnarborg, talks about its foundation, the artistic process and select works in the exhibition.

We would like to thank everyone who visited Hafnarborg for the exhibition, while it was on view, and hope that everyone will enjoy seeing it here – both those of you who are seeing it for the first time and those who have seen it before. We would also like to urge you to draw inspiration from the artists’ approach and look for interesting angles in your surroundings, in your daily life.

Captions are available in both English and Icelandic.

Grants Awarded for the Year 2020

The grants awarded from The Museum Fund (safnasjóður) and The Visual Arts Fund (myndlistarsjóður), have been made known for the year 2020. Hafnarborg expresses its gratitude for the grants awarded to projects at the museum. From The Museum Fund, Hafnarborg received a grant for two projects: Hafnarborg and the Health Town (1,500,000 ISK) and Images in Open Access – a Contract with The Icelandic Visual Art Copyright Association (800,000 ISK). Work on both projects is already in progress.

In cooperation with The Hafnarfjörður Museum and others, Hafnarborg was also awarded with a special grant (öndvegisstyrkur) for one project: Collaboration on Museum Education – Policy and Implementation (12,000,000 ISK, over four years).

From The Visual Arts Fund, Hafnarborg received grants for two exhibition projects: Exhibition of Urban Soundscapes by Davíð Brynjar Franzson, Composer, Curated by Þráinn Hjálmarsson (300,000 ISK) and Catalogue for an Exhibition of Works by Þorvaldur Þorsteinsson, in Collaboration with The Akureyri Art Museum (500,000 ISK).

Moreover, the curators of the 2020 autumn exhibition, Becky Forsythe and Penelope Smart, were awarded a grant of 800,000 ISK for production of the exhibition The Wildflower, which will focus a futuristic lens on our human desire to know nature.

Grants, such as these, serve an important role in enabling the programme of Hafnarborg to thrive and have a positive impact on the community, with noteworthy projects, as well as providing a space for creative thought and expression to prosper.

Ban on Public Gatherings – Hafnaborg Closed to Guests

Due to a stricter ban on public gatherings, Hafnarborg will be closed to guests until Monday May 4th, pending further notice.

In the meanwhile, we hope to be able to share the museum‘s exhibitions, the Hafnarborg Collection – and perhaps more – with you through other means.

So make sure to follow us on social media, by clicking the icons below.


Sarpur – Making Images of the Collection Available

Hafnarborg and The Icelandic Visual Art Copyright Association have now signed a contract regarding the digital publication of images of the museum collection in electronic databases.

This allows Hafnarborg to publish images of all registered pieces in the collection through the museum collection database Sarpur, granting the public more access to information on the Hafnarborg Collection.

Accordingly, we are working on making the images of the Hafnarborg Collection, which have until now not been accessible to the public, available through Sarpur.

DesignMarch Postponed – Current Exhibitions Extended

Hafnarborg‘s exhibitions, Far and Silent Spring, opened as a part of The Icelandic Photo Festival last January, have been extended until spring, as the board of DesignMarch has made the decision to postpone the festival under present circumstances. Subsequently, the exhibition material:wood, which was set to open at the end of March in connection with the programme of DesignMarch, has been postponed until summer.

The current exhibitions at the museum both shed a light on the environment, as the artists look for beauty in our surroundings, whether in nature or in our immediate environment, our daily life. The exhibitions also raise questions of how we look at the world and what we leave behind. For the time being, the exhibitions will remain open as usual, 12–5 a.m., all days except Tuesdays, though this is subject to change. Entry is free.

Please note that organized events at the museum, such as concerts, guided tours and workshops, will be postponed or cancelled, while the ban on public gatherings is in effect. There is also 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.

Further information on the altered exhibition programme of Hafnarborg, dates and more, will be published in due time.

Hafnarborg Receives The Icelandic Music Award 2020

On March 11th, Hafnarborg received The Icelandic Music Award for The Music Event of the Year (Single Event), in the field of classic and contemporary music, for the opening concert of the exhibition Hljóðön, which was a part of the programme of Dark Music Days.

Hafnarborg would like to thank percussionist Jennifer Torrence, for an unforgettable interpretation of the works of Tom Johnson and Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir, and curator Þráinn Hjálmarsson, for his exceptional work. We also thank all the artists who took part in the exhibition and participated in the event programme connected with it.

It is not every day that an art museum receives a music award – but music has been an important part of the Hafnarborg programme since the early years. This award is an incentive for us to continue on this path.

Thank you all!

Music Workshops – Tónagull po polsku in Hafnarborg

Hafnarborg and the town of Hafnarfjörður have lent their support to the project Tónagull po polsku (Tónagull in Polish), which will offer weekly music workshops for Polish-speaking children and their parents in Hafnarborg, beginning on Sunday March 8th. The project is also supported by the Polish Embassy in Iceland.

Tónagull is a research-based music workshop method developed by prof. Helga Rut Guðmundsdóttir, designed to fit the needs of infants, 0-3 years old, and their parents. The first Tónagull workshop was held in 2004 and they have been organized continuously since then, attracting hundreds of Icelandic families every year. The workshops take place once a week and have a playful formula, engaging musically both the toddlers and the adult participants. From the beginning, the material has mostly been based on Icelandic folk songs and nursery rhymes, i.e. the native language of the participants.

In 2019, the first Polish language version of Tónagull was launched. Preserving the methodic framework of the Icelandic original workshops and some of the original songs with translated lyrics, the workshops incorporate traditional Polish children’s songs, popular folk melodies and nursery rhymes. Tónagull po polsku immediately gained high popularity among members of the Polish community in Iceland.

More information on the music workshops, dates and time, registration and more, can be found here in Polish.

Please note that the workshops are temporarily off, in light of present circumstances.


Phonemes – Icelandic Music Awards 2020

Phonemes – Exhibiting Music, which took place at Hafnarborg from January 26th–March 3rd of last year, has been nominated as The Music Event of the Year (Single Event) in the field of classic and contemporary music at The Icelandic Music Awards 2020. The judges‘ statement about the exhibition says the following: „An exiting and original exhibition with a captivating opening concert. Working with the interplay of music and space, Jennifer Torrence‘s performance of Nine Bells by Tom Johnson was particularly successful.“

The exhibition celebrated the fifth anniversary of the concert series of the same name, which is dedicated to contemporary music and has been a part of the Hafnarborg programme since 2013. At the opening of the exhibition, Jennifer Torrence performed Nine Bells, as mentioned in the judges‘ statement, but the performance of the same work at the concert series in autumn 2016 (then by Frank Aarnink) was the spark that would later lead to the exhibition, where music and visual arts encountered each other in the timeless space of the museum.

The artists participating in the exhibition were Ásta Ólafsdóttir, Steina, Steinunn Eldflaug Harðardóttir, Logi Leó Gunnarsson, Jón Gunnar Árnason, James Saunders, Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir, Magnús Pálsson, Tom Johnson, Curver Thoroddsen and Einar Torfi Einarsson. The curator was Þráinn Hjálmarsson, composer and artistic director of the concert series.

In connection with the exhibition, there was also an extensive programme of concerts, musical events and performances, featuring local and foreign artists and musicians, such as Haraldur Jónsson, Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir, Marko Ciciliani, Barbara Lüneburg, Skerpla, Berglind M. Tómasdóttir and more. The events were also a part of the programme of Dark Music Days, receiving four nominations at this year‘s award ceremony.

Hafnarborg sends sincere thanks to the judges and affiliates of The Icelandic Music Awards for the honour shown to the institution, as well as the participants of the exhibition.

Creative Workshops during Winter Break

Hafnarborg invites primary school children to participate in fun and creative workshops during Winter Break on February 20th and 21st, in connection with the exhibition Silent Spring, currently going on at the museum. The workshops will explore different activities, so children are welcome to attend either or both days.

February 20th at 1–3 p.m.

At the first workshop, we will deal with light itself, experimenting with various shapes and forms on photosensitive paper, under the guidance of Lilja Birgisdóttir, artist and participant in the exhibition Silent Spring, and Ólöf Bjarnadóttir, employee of Hafnarborg.

Recycled Material
February 21st at 1–3 p.m.
At the second workshop, we will work with recycled or reusable material, focusing on the potential to create new things from old, under the guidance of Unnur Mjöll Leifsdóttir, artist, and Ólöf Bjarnadóttir, employee of Hafnarborg.

The workshops will take place on the ground floor of the museum and children should be accompanied by adults. As always, participation in the workshops and entrance to the museum‘s exhibitions is free of charge.

Closed due to Weather

Hafnarborg will be closed due to weather on Friday February 14th, as The Chief of Police has declared an uncertainty for public safety for the whole country.

People are urged to stay at home tomorrow and follow instructions from the authorities, see the website of the Icelandic Met Office.