The Sigurjon Olafsson Museum is dedicated to exhibiting works by the Icelandic sculptor, Sigurjon Olafsson. It was founded in 1984 by the artist’s widow Birgitta Spur, as a tribute to her late husband. She had the artist’s studio at Laugarnes converted to an exhibition space to house a large collection of his works. These include sculptures, sketches and drawings, as well as biographical material. Since 2012, the Sigurjon Olafsson Museum has been a division of National Gallery of Iceland.
In addition to its exhibition of Olafsson’s works, the museum sponsors various cultural programmes. Its weekly summer concerts have also become popular cultural events in Reykjavik.
The work of Sigurjon Olafsson
Born in Iceland, Sigurjon Olafsson (1908-1982) studied and worked in Denmark 1928-1945. Olafsson returned to Iceland in 1945. As one of the leading artists of the country, he was commissioned to create numerous challenging projects, among them a 90 m long relief at the Burfell hydropower station. He leaves eighteen public monuments in Reykjavik alone, Emblem of Iceland at Hagatorg and Throne Pillars by the Hofdi house perhaps being the best known.
Olafsson was an experimental artist who brought both classical schooling and artistic insight to a variety of materials from clay and plaster to wood, metal, stone and concrete. This versatility has inspired younger generations of Icelandic visual artists. His works are found at museums and private collections in Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Italy and the United States.