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Pay close attention to the wonderful architecture in the area surrounding the gallery. It's full of mid-century buildings designed by Iceland's most beloved architects.
Founded in 1884 in Copenhagen, Denmark, The National Gallery of Iceland has come a long way from its origins. To begin with, the collection consisted of donated artwork, mainly by Danish artists. Today the museum stands at Frikirkjuvegur in central Reykjavik, displaying both Icelandic and International art. The main emphasis of the collection in 19th and 20th century Icelandic art, and the museum owns the most valuable collection of works by Icelandic artists in the country, along with an impressive array of works by internationally renowned artists like Pablo Picasso, Edward Munch, Karel Appel, Hans Hartung, Victor Vasarely, Richard Serra and Richard Tuttle.
In addition to the collection, the National Gallery regularly holds colorful and exciting exhibitions, hosts exhibitions by individual artists, Icelandic as well as foreign ones, and have an extensive publication of books, catalogues, posters and postcards. The National Gallery's buildings at Fríkirkjuvegur houses several exhibition halls on three floors, and don't forget about the art store and café. The gallery shop's main objectives are promoting and selling art books, cards and posters published by the National Gallery. The café offers soup of the day, wine, beers, cofee drinks and home baked pastries.
Finally, the library is a research library that empahsizes the preservation and dissemination of material that relates to Icelandic art. It contains a documentation pertaining to art, photos, videos, CD's, art books and boklets, Icelandic and foreign books on art; handbooks, dictionaries and registers of artists. You can also find most of the books published in Iceland on Icelandic art at the library, along with books on 20th century art in Scandinavia.
Every art lover must seize the opportunity to stop at the wonderful National Gallery of Iceland and view the best of Iceland's art history, grab a bite and maybe purchase some books or postcards to send to loved ones.
If you want to make the most of your Reykjavík Experience, you may want to look into picking up a Reykjavík City Card, which grants you access to all the public museums, pools and city busses, in addition to discounts on many other things!
Fríkirkjuvegur 7, Reykjavik-Centre, 101View Larger Map
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