When Iceland celebrated the millennium of the settlement in 1874, Denmark presented the nation with a self-portrait by Bertel Thoraldsen, who was Icelandic on his father's side. The statue was erected on Austurvollur in 1875, the first environmental work of art to be set up in Reykjavik. Thirty two years would pass before the next statue was unveiled in the capital, a memorial to poet Jonas Hallgrimsson by Einar Jonsson. Ever since, state and municipal authorities have taken a pride in adorning the city with statues and sculptures, which at first were memorials to notable personalities from Icelandic history and culture. It was not until 1928 that the first independent work of art was erected in Reykjavik, Maternal Love, by Nina Saemundsson, which was set up on Laekjargata. After that, a large number of works by all of Iceland's leading sculptors have been set up around the city. The statues and sculptures of Reykjavik in effect present a survey of the history of Icelandic twentieth century sculpture.
Sculptures owned by Reykjavik Art Museum, 2013 - pdf