The Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum was founded in 1995 by Níels Hafstein and Magnhildur Sigurðardóttir. For over 30 years the museum’s founders have been passionately committed to collecting artworks by artists who have hitherto been seen as outside the cultural mainstream, often also called naïve or outsider artists who have a real and direct connection to an original creative spirit; true, unspoiled and free. The museum is unique in Iceland, initially collecting artworks by all major con temporary folk artists and autodidacts in Iceland, forming the core of the collection, while also gradually acquiring an excellent collection of art by professional artists, whose works cohere with exhibition and collection policies. It is of importance that all the artworks presented are on an equal footing, in exhibitions as well as the collections. The core collection consists today of thousands of artworks and sketches by over 300 artists, dating from the mid19th century to the present.
The Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum’s exhibition space consists of two adjoining vintage buildings with a local history; one is the former elementary school and community centre, while the other was built in 1900 to house the district’s first cooperative store. The museum has 10 separate galleries of various sizes, a total of 500 square metres of exhibition space. Each year there is a new set of exhibitions in the museum, featuring works from the collection in interaction with visiting works of art. The emphasis is on creative flux between artworks and artists and extended lines of sight evoking a unique experience.
The Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum is located in North Iceland, near Svalbarðseyri, about 10 minutes’ drive eastwards from the town of Akureyri, on the opposite side of the fjord.