Kjarvalsstaðir houses the works of one of Iceland’s most influential and recognised artists, Jóhannes S. Kjarval. The exhibitions at Kjarvalsstaðir focus primarily on paintings and sculptures of the established masters of modern art. The building is a fine example of Nordic modernism, it features floor-to ceiling windows that look onto the beautiful Klambratún Park.

One can take in the view while enjoying a drink or a snack at the Museum´s Café. The Museum´s Café is open from 10.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. There is also a Museum Store in the lobby and a lovely family-activity space, the Idea Lab. Experience Icelandic art and enjoy your stay at Kjarvalsstaðir.

Exhibitions at Kjarvalsstaðir

Jóhannes S. Kjarval


Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval (1885–1972) has a unique place in Icelandic cultural history, as one of the nation's most beloved artists of all time. He was a legend in his own lifetime, and in the eyes of many he was the archetypal romantic bohemian artist. He had his roots in traditional Icelandic farming society, and his life and art were inextricably entwined with the nation's cultural renaissance in the early 20th century. He is best known for his interpretation of nature, and especially the mystical visual world manifested in his art. In Kjarval's long artistic career, his basic vision remained the same – that nature is alive – although the emphases of his work evolved and changed over the years.



Kjarvalsstaðir History

Kjarvalsstaðir is in the Miklatún park, one of the few recreational areas in Reykjavík to be planned and designed as part of the city’s artistic culture. Kjarvalsstaðir was designed by Hannes Kr. Davíðsson and inaugurated in 1973. Kjarvalsstaðir maintains continuous exhibits from its collection of works by painter Jóhannes Kjarval, who bequeathed a large collection of artwork and personal effects to the city of Reykjavík, and also displays paintings, sculpture, and architectural design by established artists and architects. History Kjarvalsstaðir was the first building in Iceland specially designed and built for public exhibitions of art. In 1964 the Reykjavk City Council voted to plan a municipal recreation area featuring a sculpture of the poet Einar Benediktsson, to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of his birth, and in the wake of this a further decision was made to erect an art museum with a restaurant in the new park, to honor painter Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval, who was due to turn eighty the following year.

Jóhannes S. Kjarval, Krítík, 1946

Kjarval´s Art

Kjarval donated some of his works and personal effects to the city of Reykjavík in 1968. The gift comprised mainly drawings and sketches. A part of his gift was exhibited for the first time at the opening of the Kjarvalsstaðir gallery in 1973. The collection has grown steadily over the years, both through purchases and invaluable donations from private individuals.

The collection of Kjarval´s works can be fount at our collection page: safneign.listasafnreykjavikur.is/en/kjarval.