Aqueiri, northern Iceland. Like a model for a privately running museum in a remote area, amazing at the existence of museum.
This museum is in the suburb of “Akureyri” city in the north-east part of Iceland. I guess, the most of the people come to mind, “Reykjavik” as the city in Iceland since this city is the capitol in Iceland. I feel I have come to the far place even if Reykjavik, it is surprising to me that there is a wonderful museum in this remote city ; “Akureyri”, also it is not located in the “Akureyri”, it is in the suburban area surrounded by the green grass, on the roadside.
Akureyri is the second largest city in Iceland, about 300 km straight from Reykjavik. Even though it is the second city, the population is about 20,000. The city center has shops and restaurants, but the number of those is very limited. However, the city is beautiful and it is fun to take a walk while looking at the colorful houses and buildings.
Well, as for this “Safnasafnid The Folk and Outsider Art Museum”, I did not have a pre-information; I have visited this museum just seeing something brochure located in the lobby in the hotel. This museum is in the northern part of “Akureyri” by going along the fjord. When approaching, a man statue with approx. 10-meter height is coming to see. Museum is in the side of its statue. It is like the normal second stories’ house. “How it can be imagined that there is a museum in such a place?”
When I parked the car on the premises and look toward the fjord at the back side of museum, you can see a cow on the meadow. The combination with the fjord is wonderful. It is picturesque place. Then, the question again arises, “Why is there a museum in such a place?”
There is a reception after getting into the ground door, one lady responded to me. I walked around museum, but, like in the private house. Artworks mainly based on the folk art are displayed in each room. There are wooden made small statue, as folk art, in the ground floor, which must be made in Iceland, it was good taste. No one was in the room and therefore, I have felt very relaxed and happy.
In the second floor, you can see the magazine rack with 2-meter height and four sets of chairs in front of its magazine rack. It is like the place photographed on the front page in the fashionable magazine. After walking around all rooms in the house, I have come back to this place and stare at it once again, this must be coming from the sense of the people in this museum, it was really my favorite.
When having a talk with the lady in this museum, she has explained to me that this museum was in the opposite side of the road, long ago, moved to the current place, to extend the space. The lady also told me that “there is no museum like this, in Reykjavik”. There is a rest area at ground floor, with table and chair. Visitors can drink a coffee or orange juice freely.
This museum is almost unknown, but the splendid surrounding scenery, the consistency of the artworks exhibited in the museum, and the simple atmosphere of the museum were impressive. I feel it is the ideal way when an individual runs a museum. I would like this museum to keep in operation for a long time and I would like to visit again.
Visited in 2012.
■ Name of Place：Safnasafnid The Folk and Outsider Art Museum
■ Address : Svalbarðsströnd, 601 Akureyri, Iceland
(described on Feb 10 2019)
(latest update on May 3 2020)