Autumn Exhibition 2023 – Call for Proposals

As in previous years, curators are invited to submit proposals for next year’s Autumn Exhibition at Hafnarborg. The Autumn Exhibition Series began in 2011 and since then twelve exhibitions have been selected for production as part of the series, from numerous submissions by curators of diverse backgrounds and experience. This year‘s Autumn Exhibition, high tide – low tide, curated by Sigrún Alba Sigurðardóttir and set to open on September 10th, 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 compelling proposals for an exhibition, as well as creating a platform for emerging curators to present their ideas. For this reason, curators who are new to the field are encouraged to send in their proposals. In years past, the programme has proven its worth, as it has produced diverse and thought-provoking exhibitions, which have been well received all around.

The call is for group exhibitions connecting artists or artworks through their subject matter, artistic method and/or other ideas, but exhibitions analysing 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.

Please note that the deadline to submit proposals has been extended until midnight on Sunday September 25th.

Applications are only accepted via email at [email protected] (see below).

Application process

The application process is divided into two parts and we ask applicants to read all details about the two-part process and required materials carefully.

Part 1

For the first part of the application process, we request 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 participating artist(s), 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 their proposals. 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 are selected for further review, will be invited 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 line with the museum’s financial plan, otherwise seeking special grants to fund the project.

When reviewing the proposals, 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, the town of Hafnarfjörður etc.
  • Whether the exhibition makes use of Hafnarborg’s exhibition space in a creative way.
  • The curators’ experience and CV.
  • Suggestions for events 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 latter 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 fit the space in strict terms.

Please send all proposals via email to [email protected], 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.

Hafnarborg Office – Partly Closed for Summer Vacations

Please note that the Hafnarborg office will be partly closed from July 11th until August 12th for summer vacations.

In the meantime, we kindly ask you to email us at [email protected].

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Wishing you all a great summer,
The staff of Hafnarborg

Gunnar Örn Gunnarsson – Open Studio at Kambur

Gunnar Örn Gunnarsson (1946-2008) moved with his family to Kambur in South Iceland in 1986. There, he had a spacious studio in an old storehouse, which he transformed and used as his workspace for over two decades, but the space made it possible for him to work on a bigger scale than before. From 1998, Gunnar Örn also ran an international gallery on site, called Gallerí Kambur, now an artist residency.

This summer, Hafnarborg presents a retrospective of Gunnar Örn’s career, titled In the Depths of Your Own Awareness. In connection with the exhibition, Gunnar Örn’s family will open the artist’s studio at Kambur all Saturdays in August, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Kambur is located by the lake Vestra Gíslholtsvatn, midway between the towns Selfoss and Hella, on route 284, diverging from the Ring Road shortly after one crosses the river Þjórsá heading eastwards (driving from the capital takes a little less than an hour and a half).

Click on the map to view it as a bigger image.

Welcome to the studio for a coffee and a chat.

The Hafnarborg Songfest – Master Class in the Main Gallery

Sönghátíð í Hafnarborg hefur frá upphafi staðið fyrir master class námskeiði fyrir lengra komna söngnemendur og söngvara. Í ár stendur námskeiðið yfir dagana 20. til 23. júní og fyllir tónlistin því húsakynni Hafnarborgar á meðan. Námskeiðið er haldið í aðalsal safnsins frá morgni til seinniparts dags, svo gestir sem heimsækja sýningar safnsins fá að njóta söngs þátttakenda í leiðinni. Námskeiðinu lýkur svo með tónleikum nemenda sem fara fram fimmtudaginn 23. júní kl. 20. Leiðbeinandi námskeiðsins að þessu sinni er hin ástsæla sópransöngkona Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir (Diddú) en henni til fulltingis er píanóleikarinn Helga Bryndís Magnúsdóttir, sem kemur einnig fram með nemendum á tónleikunum.

From its inception, The Hafnarborg Songfest has offered a master class for advanced singers. This year, the class takes place from June 20th until the 23rd, filling the museum with music and song for its duration. The class is held in the Hafnarborg’s main gallery, starting in the morning and ending in the afternoon, so guests of the museum will be able to enjoy the singing practice during their visit to the current exhibitions. At the end of this course, the participants will perform at a special concert on Thursday June 23rd at 8 p.m. as a part of The Songfest. This time, the instructor is beloved soprano Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir (Diddú) with the support of pianist Helga Bryndís Magnúsdóttir, who will also accompany the singers at the concert.

For more information about The Hafnarborg Songfest, please visit the offical website at

Public Art – New Mural by Juan

At noon on June 10th, Rósa Guðbjartsdóttir, Mayor of Hafnarfjörður, unveiled a new mural by artist Juan on the wall of Strandgata 4, which has been decorated with various wall paintings in the last years. In the first place, Juan contacted the municipality of Hafnarfjörður to find out if the town had a building which might be fit for this purpose, but Juan has lately caught people’s attention for his murals in the public space all around Iceland.

Members of the Culture and Tourism Committee of Hafnarfjörður were intrigued by Juan’s idea and asked him to submit a proposal for a mural on Strandgata, but the resulting sketch was a collage of monuments and public artworks in the town of Hafnarfjörður, including select works under the care of Hafnarborg. Subsequently, representatives of the town contacted the artists or the families of the artists to ask for their permission to make use of the works in this manner, which they all kindly granted, and so thanks go to everyone who made this work possible.

The mural depicts the following monuments and public artworks:
· Worship by Ásmundur Sveinsson
· Shelter for Winds by Barbara Tieaho
· The Golden Gate by Eliza Thoenen-Steinle
· Monument to the First Lutheran Church in Iceland by Hartmut Wolf, also known as Lupus
· Troll by Páll Guðmundsson of Húsafell
· Hafnarfjörður Variations by Sebastian
· Bad Connection by Sonja Renard
· Untitled work by Sólveig Baldursdóttir
· A Hundred Years of Solitude and an untitled work by Sverrir Ólafsson
· The Watch by Timo Solis
· Sailing by Þorkell Gunnar Guðmundsson

The mural also features a QR code which leads directly to Hafnarborg’s website on public artworks in Hafnarfjörður, which will hopefully increase awareness of and people’s interest in this remarkable collection, which can be visited at all hours of the day. In the hopes of improving public health, Hafnarborg the encourages both residents and visitors of Hafnarfjörður to take a walk around town – seek out the works, take a little break and let art be a force of healing.

Hafnarborg’s website on public artworks can be found here.

Summer Workshops 2022 – Arts and Music

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.

Two 5-day workshops and one 4-day workshop will be available for ages 6–9 and 10–12. None of the workshops will be the same, so children are welcome to attend more than one workshop. The workshop starting June 20th will then bring in elements of music to the creative process, in connection with The Hafnarborg Songfest. At the end of this workshop, the children will participate in a family concert, as part of the festival’s programme, taking place on Friday June 24th at 5–5:50 p.m.

The instructor of the visual arts workshops will be Unnur Mjöll S. Leifsdóttir and the instructor of the music workshop will be Kolbrún Berglind Grétarsdóttir.

The following summer workshops are available:

June 13th–June 16th*
6–9 years old: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
10–12 years old: 1–4 p.m.
*June 17th is a national holiday, so the workshop will end on Thursday.

June 20th–June 24th
6–9 years old: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
10–12 years old: 12:30–3:30 p.m.

June 27th–July 1st
6–9 years old: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
10–12 years old: 1–4 p.m.

The fee for the 5-day workshops is 14,900 ISK and the fee for the 4-day workshop is 11,920 ISK. Please note that a sibling discount is avai,lable: full price for the first child, with a 50% discount for each additional sibling. Kindly inform us of any special needs or requirements.

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

Registration is open from Monday May 9th via the website of Hafnarfjörður or directly through the registration network. For further information, please call (354) 585 5790 or send an email to [email protected].

Art Without Borders 2022 – Solo Exhibition at Hafnarborg

All of us at Hafnarborg would like to congratulate Elfa Björk Jónsdóttir on being named the Artist of the Year of Art Without Borders, but Elfa Björk will have a solo exhibition at Hafnarborg this autumn in connection with the festival.

Elfa Björk Jónsdóttir is a talented artist whose style is based in abstraction, where she brings together formalist and figurative imagery in a lively manner, drawing inspiration from the environment, nature books or from art history.

Art Without Borders 2022 will take place from October 15th until October 30th.

Pictured with Elfa Björk are Jóhanna Ásgeirsdóttir, artistic director of the festival, and Aldís Arnardóttir, Director of Hafnarborg.

Easter Opening Hours in Hafnarborg

Hafnarborg wishes its friends and supporters a very happy Easter. Opening hours during the holidays are as follows:

Maundy Thursday April 14th
Open 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

Good Friday April 15th

Holy Saturday April 16th
Open 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

Easter Sunday April 17th

Easter Monday April 18th
Open 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

Nominations for The Icelandic Music Awards 2022

All of us at Hafnarborg would like to congratulate Þráinn Hjálmarsson, the artistic director of the concert series Phonemes, on the nomination for The Icelandic Music Awards 2022, as Phonemes has been nominated in the category “Music Event of the Year – Festivals”, in the field of classic and contemporary music.

We also congratulate Andrés Þór Gunnlaugsson, the artistic director of the Hafnarborg Afternoon Concert series, on the nomination of the new series as “Music Event of the Year”, in the field of jazz and blues music, as well as congratulating Andrés Þór on his personal nomination as “Performer of the Year”, in the same field.

We thank all of you for enriching the programme of Hafnarborg with your dedication to music, which you share so graciously with us. We also wish to express our gratitude to the judges and affiliates of The Icelandic Music Awards for the honour shown to the institution with the nominations.

Viewpoints – Museum Visits for Senior Audiences

Hafnarborg strives to open up the world of art to everyone by offering guided tours for all audiences and all ages. To that end, Viewpoints is a new senior visitors programme, for those interested in arts and culture, looking to get a deeper insight into what is happening at Hafnarborg, either by focusing on current exhibitions or by examining individual works in the museum collection.

The events will allow guests the opportunity to approach art through a variety of means, in discussion with museum experts. At the end of the meeting, we invite visitors to sit down for a chat over coffee and snacks, provided by Hafnarborg.

The programme will centre on a special subject during each visit, set to take place on Wednesdays, once a month, from 2-3 p.m. To ensure that everyone can enjoy the programme, there is a limit of 25 guests during the visit.

Spring Programme:

March 16th at 2 p.m.
The Icelandic Photo Festival – Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir

A guided tour of Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir’s exhibition, A Few Thoughts on Photography – Vol. III. Hallgerður utilizes the various possibilities of the medium, photography, to better understand its technique and history. The exhibition is a part of the programme of The Icelandic Photo Festival.

April 13th at 2 p.m.
Works from the Collection

The Hafnarborg Collection currently counts nearly 1600 works in a wide range of media. This includes painting, drawing, sculptures and video works, as well as the Hafnarfjörður’s public art collection, which is under the care of Hafnarborg. The visit will centre on select works from the museum collection.

May 11th at 2 p.m.
DesignMarch – Tinna Gunnarsdóttir

A guided tour of  Tinna Gunnarsdóttir’s exhibition, Touching Landscape. The works displayed are part of Tinna’s ongoing doctoral research project in Héðinsfjörður in Northern Iceland, where she reflects on the relationship between man and nature through various design methods. The exhibition is a part of DesignMarch 2022.

Guests can register for the visits via telphone at +354 585 5790 or via email at [email protected].

Free entry.