De’ miei bollenti spiriti – Gissur Páll Gissurarson

On the occasion of the First Day of Summer, we share with you a little song, in the hopes of lifting up your spirits.

Here, Gissur Páll Gissurarson, tenor, sings the passionate aria “De’ miei bollenti spiriti” from La traviata by Verdi, with Antonía Hevesi, the artistic director of the Hafnarborg Midday Concert Series, playing the piano.

We wish all the friends of Hafnarborg a very happy summer and we look forward to seeing you at our museum in the coming months.

Silent Spring – Online Exhibition Tour

Ágústa Kristófersdóttir, Director of Hafnarborg, talks about the exhibition Silent Spring, by artists Hertta Kiiski, Katrín Elvarsdóttir and Lilja Birgisdóttir. The exhibition opened last January as a part of The Icelandic Photography Festival 2020 and the curator is Daría Sól Andrews.

In the exhibition, Lilja, Hertta and Katrín invoke a tender warmth towards nature, while calling attention to the effects of our wasteful practices on the earth. Working in the face of climate change, they then employ the photographic medium and a sculptural, sensory focus to environments which call for a nurturing attention.

The exhibition was extended until mid-May, given current circumstances, but since the museum is currently closed, we hope you will enjoy the exhibition here instead.

Captions available in English and Icelandic.

Easter Greetings – from Hafnarborg to You

Hafnarborg wishes all of you, friends of the museum, a very Happy Easter. For the past few weeks, the museum has been closed to guests, as most of you know, and will remain so while the stricter ban on public gatherings is in effect.

We have created a few videos to share with you, but you can find the videos on social media, such as Hafnarborg‘s page on Facebook and YouTube, as well as other content, pictures of our current projects, exhibitions and more, on Instagram.

We are looking forward to welcoming you at Hafnarborg, in the near future, but until then we hope to be able to let you take a peek into the museum, in this different way, maybe even helping you pass the time.


Una furtiva lagrima – Gissur Páll Gissurarson

Unfortunately, this month‘s Midday Concert cannot go on, due to the ban on public gatherings, but we wish to share with you a song instead, to brighten up your day, so shortly before Easter.

Here, Gissur Páll Gissurarson, tenor, and Antonía Hevesi, pianist and artistic director of the Hafnarborg Midday Concert Series, perform the aria “Una furtiva lagrima” from the opera L’elisir d’amore by Donizetti.

We are looking forward to seeing you again at our Midday Concerts in the near future – when this too shall pass.

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 available in 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 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 (354) 585 5790 or send an email to