Einar Jónsson Museum – Reykjavik, Iceland - Atlas Obscura

In 1909, the Icelandic sculptor Einar Jónsson offered all of his works as a gift to the people of his home country with one condition: a museum must be built specifically to house them. It took a few years for the Icelandic government to take the artist up on his offer. When they did, Jónsson chose to build the museum on Skolavorduhaed, a “desolate hill on the outskirts of town.”

Jónsson worked with the architect Einar Erlendsson to bring his vision for the museum to life. Work began in June 1916, and the Einar Jónsson Museum officially opened in 1923. It was the first art museum in Iceland.

The museum also included an apartment, which Jónsson and his wife Anne Marie, moved into once it was complete. Inside the museum and in a sculpture garden on its grounds, you can experience Jónsson’s sculptural works. The artist’s apartment is also open to the public and offers an insight into Jónsson’s life and his artistic method.

Know Before You Go

The museum is open every day from 12-5 p.m. Closed on Mondays.

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