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“A Wonderful Discovery”

Reykjavik Art Museum Asmundarsafn
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Private Sightseeing Tour in Reykjavik
Ranked #52 of 178 things to do in Reykjavik
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Listasafn Reykjavíkur Reykjavik Art Museum is the leading art museum in Iceland and has three locations in Reykjavik: Hafnarhus, Kjarvalsstadir and Asmundarsafn. Asmundarsafn is the former home and workshop of the sculptor Asmundur Sveinsson, who designed and mostly constructed this building himself in Laugardalur. The museum served to preserve his work and life, and displays the largest collection of his sculptures both inside and outside the building. Asmundur's art greatly reflects his lifelong interest in the Icelandic sagas, folk tales and classical mythology.
Useful Information: Baby buggy parking, Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
West Bagborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“A Wonderful Discovery”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 November 2013

We first visited Reykjavik's main art gallery near the harbour and were distinctly underwhelmed. There was a very jolly installation on the ground floor comprising several large fans placed flat on their faces, blowing streams of tape out in large circles, which was impressive, but otherwise it was dire. The same ticket afforded us entry to the Sveinsson gallery, however and although it was late in the day, we decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad we did, it's a beautiful place.

The building itself was designed by Sveinsson in a Middle Eastern style, with a square base and central domed roof. A crescent has been built on one side to extend the exhibition space, which works well. We were greeted by a very friendly woman who gave us a brief resume of the exhibits and offered coffee.

I was blown away by Sveinsson's work. As an admirer of Moore and Hepworth, it was very interesting to find one of their contemporaries in another country, creating work which echoes their style. Sviensson is particularly good on women; he seems to have a knack of capturing the familial love mothers, sisters and daughters engender with a tenderness of form which is very moving. Until I was informed otherwise I though he was a female artist, his understanding of women seemed so innate.

The sculpture is displayed both indoors and around the small garden, where the larger pieces have the space to spread their expansive limbs. This museum is well worth a visit if you're keen on sculpture. I'd certainly go again.

Visited November 2013
2 Thank funnyjaybird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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109 reviews from our community

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New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“One of Top Highlights in Reykjavik”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2013

The gardens and museum were the very last thing we saw on our 10 day trip to Iceland and one of the main highlights. The garden's sculptures are certainly interesting but the interior of the museum, the architecture, the lighting, the descriptive stories that explain the sculptures complete the entire experience. All three of us were thrilled to have visited this museum. And to sit and reflect with a generous offering of coffee to contemplate the Museum and our Icelandic adventures was sublime.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank sac0509
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chesterfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Not worth the trip”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2013

Not my thing, a few non descript blobs in a badly kept garden on a busy road. This man must have been a tortured soul in need of therapy.

Visited April 2013
Thank K W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, England
Level Contributor
109 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“The friendliest curator on the planet!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2013 via mobile

I had no idea what to expect as not much of a sculpture museum buff, but I enjoyed this place and the lady in duty could not have been nicer. She told me to read about the construction of the house first, to ensure I could follow the flow, made the loveliest and most welcome coffee on a miserable winters day, and gave me literature to read and to take away. She was superb! The house and it's extensions are wonderful as are the sculptures. It's small, an hour will suffice for most people, but it's enjoyable and relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist run. Make some time for here.

Thank tomthetank67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A must-visit for any art or architecture lover”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2013 via mobile

More than just a museum for the work of sculptor Asmundur Sveinsson, the building itself is significant as a piece of architecture as the artist designed and lived in it, using it as both a studio and a showcase of a new style of Icelandic architecture in response to the climate and architecture. A great insight into the work and life of this lesser known master of 20th century modernism, the collection includes one of the great works of Icelandic modern art, 'Black Clouds'. Of the three art museums we visited as part of the National Museums combined ticket, thus was without a doubt the most interesting. Don't miss it.

Thank TravelinTravis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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