The Ocean

20.8.2022 — 2.2.2023

The House of Collections

The marvels of the ocean are the overarching theme in an exhibition for people of all ages

Painted shadows of seamen on glass. Four photographs from shipwrecks above.  Four bowls with coloured water on floor in front.

Halldór Ásgeirsson 1956-

Frá augnabliki til augnabliks, 1999-2000


The ocean is all around in a new exhibition on level 2 at the House of Collections on Hverfisgata, Reykjavík, where the treasures of Icelandic art are on display. Visitors now have the opportunity to experience works that relate to the seas, and to the discourse on sustainability.

The House of Collections

20.8.2022 2.2.2023


Ásthildur Jónsdóttir

Curatorial Team

Ásthildur Jónsdóttir

Harpa Þórsdóttir

Dagný Heiðdal

Ragnheiður Vignisdóttir

Guðrún Jóna Halldórsdóttir

Exhibition designer

Axel Hallkell Jóhannesson

Light design




Education and Events organiser

Ragnheiður Vignisdóttir

Marketing and Promotion

Guðrún Jóna Halldórsdóttir

Technical Supervision and Recordings

Sigurður Gunnarsson


Dagný Heiðdal

Gylfi Freeland Sigurðsson

Indriði Arna Ingólfsson

Annahita Asgari

Hreinn Friðfinnsson 1943-

Overture, 1978


The oceans are a major influence upon our lives here on earth. All the oceans are connected, and they cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface. The ocean propels global systems which make our planet habitable for humans. It plays a crucial role in the availability of water on earth, as it takes part in the circulation of water.

Björg Þorsteinsdóttir 1940-2019

Bárur, 2003


The ocean gives, the ocean takes away

The ocean has been an inspiration for many artists. The works in this exhibition draw our attention to various issues which are worth examining in the context of the ocean and how humanity’s relationship with the seas has changed. The resources of the seas, the battle with the ocean waves, the rise of nature awareness, sustainability and, last but not least, the marvels of the ocean are the themes of this exhibition, which appeals to visitors of all ages.

Finnur Jónsson 1892-1993

Morgunn á miðinu, 1927


Rising nature awareness

Nature functions on the basis of a delicate balance: if that is disrupted, for instance by global warming, the consequences may be dire for life on earth. Understanding and knowledge are the necessary basis for taking part in efforts to counteract the terrifying consequences of humanity’s unsustainable conduct, which entails negative impacts for the coming generations. Change can only be achieved through participation by all in collaboration, with respect for time and place.


Birgir Andrésson

Birgir Snæbjörn Birgisson

Björg Þorsteinsdóttir

Edvard Munch

Finnur Arnar Arnarson

Finnur Jónsson


Guðmundur Benediktsson

Gunnlaugur Blöndal

Gunnlaugur Schevings

Halldór Ásgeirsson

Helgi Þorgils Friðjónsson

Hildur Hákonardóttir

Hólmfríður Árnadóttir

Hrafnkell Sigurðsson

Hreinn Friðfinnsson

Jóhannes Kjarval

Jón Stefánsson,

Júlíana Sveinsdóttir

Karl Kerúlf Einarsson Dunganon

Kristinn G. Harðarson

Kristín Jónsdóttir

Magnús Sigurðarson

Sindri Leifsson

Valtýr Pétursson

Treasures of Icelandic Art

The museum is open every day from 10am - 5pm.