How to look at a painting


8. feb




Ingibjörg Jóhannsdóttir, museum director

15:10 PM
Sjónarafl – Visual Literacy Training

Research, project development and publication of teaching materials.
Ragnheiður Vignisdóttir, manager of museum education and Marta María Jónsdóttir, museum educator

In the fall of 2021, The National Gallery of Iceland began developing a project titled Sjónarafl – visual literacy training, aimed at empowering youth to further their knowledge and understanding of fine art and the nation’s visual heritage. At the end of the project, developed in collaboration with the Hjallastefna Children¢s School in Reykjavik, the Gallery‘s education department analyzed the results and published in the teaching guide .......- literacy training. This lecture will provide an overview of the course of the project, elucidating the teaching methods used by museum educators to systematically train students in visual literacy, expression, active listening and critical thinking. 

15:30 PM
How to Look at a Painting
Françoise Barbe-Gall, art historian, author and founder of CO.RE.TA

For most museum visitors, art remains a specialist domain, both mysterious and intimidating. It is possible, however, to make it easier for them to access it by simply accompanying them in this discovery. Rather than multiplying scholarly information, we can, on the contrary, rely on the relationship, however fleeting, that they have with this or that painting... What do they really see? What impression do they get from it? Pleasure, sometimes violent rejection, curiosity, or indifference... Everything is conceivable and always revealing: by grasping what, in the work, triggered such a response, we have a chance to decipher step by step its true purpose, beyond its immediate subject. Art history, which is obviously involved in this process, will be a tool for understanding and not a goal: because the most important thing is to encourage everyone, regardless of age, to deepen their own perspective.


16 PM
Meaningful Education in Modern Society
Ýr Káradóttir, specialist in pedagogy focused on visual art reflection 

External assessments of primary education indicate that the learning environment of Icelandic students is generally somewhat one-dimensional, characterized by the absence of organized collaborative work in class. This presentation will explore the cultural value of the arts and how visual literacy can be used in teaching to develop more diverse teaching approaches so that meaningful learning can take place.  


16:20 PM
Artwork ignites reflection:
“Why put oneself at risk for peace?”
Ingimar Ólafsson Waage, visual artist and an assistant professor at the Department of Art Education at the Iceland University of the Arts

The increasing emphasis on moral education has sparked questions about how to expand opportunities for students to engage with such issues. Moral development is a lifelong task in which the ability to think critically about ethical issues is paramount, in addition to recognising the accompanying emotions. In recent years, Ingimar has explored the opportunities the arts offer to address these topics. The arts possess unique qualities in this regard, as they can, among other things, imitate reality and help us put ourselves in others’ shoes or contemplate new and unfamiliar circumstances. Discussions about artworks can, therefore, inspire new knowledge and increase awareness and a deeper understanding of the complexities of human life. In his presentation, Ingimar will share the main findings of his doctoral research on the value of art education and discuss how such emphases can be implemented in general education.

16:40 PM

Moderator: Dorothée M.Kirch, manager of marketing and development




Treasures of Icelandic Art

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