Sunday, October 14, 2012

National Museum of Iceland

The National Museum was established on 24th of February 1863. And the stamps on this FDC were issued to commemorate the National Museum and honour the man, namely Sigurður Guðmundsson who was the brain behind its modernization. Up until that time Icelandic museum pieces had been kept in Danish collections. Jón Árnason librarian was made curator of the Icelandic collection. Several months later he was given permission to hire another curator; Sigurður Guðmundsson 'the painter', who was the first to advocate the establishment of an antiquarian collection in Iceland.
The museum was called the Antiquarian Collection up until 1911 when the name was changed to the National Museum of Iceland. During the first decades it was housed in several attics in Reykjavík - in the Cathedral, House of Corrections, Parliament and National Bank - and finally the attic of the National Library building on Hverfisgata (now the Culture House) where it remained for four decades. When the Republic was formed in 1944, Parliament decided to give the nation a museum at Suðurgata, into which the collections were moved in 1950. Six decades later it has been entirely refurbished to meet present standards and requirements.
The role of the National Museum is varied, reflecting its legal obligation as national centre for the preservation and management of cultural heritage, cultural reaearch programmes and promulgation of knowledge and information which relates to the cultural heritage of the nation. The role of the museum is to increase and relay knowledge of Icelandic cultural heritage, from the nation´s earliest settlement through to the modern day.
At the National Museum the present meets the past. It is healthy for the Icelandic people to ask who they are, where they are going and what they want to represent. What can they learn from past generations?
The National Museum displays objects that provide insight into Icelandic cultural history - displays that encourage visitors to dwell on the past, present and future. The museum aims to nurture knowledge and innovation while maintaining a wide perspective and sense of community. Thank you Maria for this FDC.

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