Samúel Jónsson's Art Farm – Iceland - Atlas Obscura

Samúel Jónsson's Art Farm

This secluded Iceland farm holds the collected works of one rural sculptor's creations. 


Located next to the nearly uninhabited valley of Selárdalur, Samúel Jónsson’s farm was turned into a huge display of naive art that continues to offer a look into the creator’s psyche well after his death.

Jónsson lived alone on his secluded farm, but had developed a love of art from an early age. However given the rigors of running his farm, it wasn’t until his retirement that he was able to fully embrace his creative impulses. In the mid-50’s Jónsson finally quit working and started creating, continuing to add to his menagerie right up until his death. During his years of artistic production, Jónsson produced a number unique concrete statues using material mixed from the sand of a local beach. These are scattered across the green yard and are joined by two almost cartoonish buildings that he also built himself, the chapel and the museum. 

The museum is where Jónsson kept his paintings and his smaller works, and any that might not weather the elements very well. The chapel however my have simply been a byproduct of another project. The story goes that Jónsson created an altar for a local church which turned down the donation. Now that he was stuck with the holy podium he needed somewhere to store it, so he produced the chapel. 

Sadly, Jónsson passed away in 1969, leaving his creations without a caretaker. The land and the statues looked like they were simply going to be abandoned to nature in the out-of-the-way valley. However independent and government organizations have worked together to preserve the site, which still remains for any visitors who would like to see the world through one Icelandic farmer’s eyes.

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