We almost didn't make it out to this branch of the three-part Reykjavik Art Museum. This location required a bus transfer and looked far away on our tourist map. On the other hand, my 10 year old son really loves modern sculpture, so we bravely explored a little further on the bus system, walked through a very suburban neighborhood, and came to Asmundarsafn on a cold, clear Wednesday afternoon in March. We were very glad we did!
First of all, I must admit that the artist's self-designed live/work space--now the museum building--really appealed to me. I would like to live here, too! There's a very clear connection between the beauty/functionality of the architecture and the artist's sculptures. I was glad my kids got to see a space like this and understand how some artists work in more than one medium on a really grand scale. It sends home the message that his life itself was a work of art.
Second, my sculpture-loving son really liked the works on display here. Most of them are the work of Asmundur Sveinsson, but there were also some pieces by current artists displayed upstairs in the dome. The acoustics up there were fascinating in and of themselves. Access to the dome was only up a narrow staircase. I'm almost certain this is NOT handicapped accessible.
Third, this small museum was uniquely welcoming. Children are free to get in. There were the usual (for Iceland) coloring pages for the children, and the staff were very interested in even a child's level discussion of the collection. The sculptor himself clearly cared about young people, because he (according to the museum docent) actually encouraged children to climb on some of his large statues. This was a huge hit with my kids. There is even free coffee (and water with glasses) in a small lounge for visitors. While I found Iceland to be overwhelmingly family-friendly, this museum really stood out even in such good company.
If you have any interest in modern sculpture or architecture, this branch of the Reykjavik Art Museum is well worth the trip.
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