Inspiration – Object Display At The National Museum of Iceland

Another must-see on my trip to Reykjavik was The National Museum of Iceland. We almost didn’t get to go, but am I ever glad we did. It was gorgeous, interesting, fun, and I may have tried to hide our suitcases so we’d miss our flight and I could go back again.

And while I loved the museum in general, I was absolutely blown away by how beautifully they displayed their collections. Throughout the museum, object presentation worked as a strong layer of the storytelling process in each exhibit, and the arrangements were a delight to look at.

Here are a few of my favorites:

“Icelandic Silverwork” 

I guarantee you’ve never seen a more gorgeous display of spoons, because there has never been one. Just look at it – amazing. Why have we been laying spoons flat when we could have had them flying through space and converging at infinity?


I want to hang all my spoons this way now, too.

More things need to float in museums. The use of layers and depth and movement with these gold pieces makes this so interesting to look at.


I forgot to take a picture of the label here so I don’t know what these are. But, whatever they are, I could look at them all day because the arrangement is stunning.


Icelandic Knitting

This is how you show off mittens. Views of the fronts and backs. Some mittens facing different directions. Pairs kept together. Pairs split apart. Pairs holding hands!


The Photomaton in “The Making of a Nation”

I’m running out of synonyms for “gorgeous.” So according to my thesaurus, this arrangement of photostrips on the wall next to a photobooth is “delightful,” “superb,” “lovely,” and “splendiferous.”


Loomweights in “The Making of a Nation”

And now I’ve just run out of words. So just look at this cluster of loomweights and yarn and bask in the beauty of shapes and texture.


This is only the tip of the (Jökulsárlón) iceberg of beautiful arrangements at the National Museum of Iceland. Have you been? Did you swoon over all the displays, too?

2 thoughts on “Inspiration – Object Display At The National Museum of Iceland

  1. Yes!! We weren’t sure which museums to visit in Reykjavik, but this was a good choice. We spent too long enjoying the ancient history and then had to rush through the upstairs portion a bit- they really did a great job evoking the materiality of the culture, without too much gimmickry. The textiles displays were great- I took so many bad pictures- and we had a blast trying on costumes in the kids section…
    I liked the pop culture displays of the modern eras (like Bjork’s first album and cracker packaging.) Sigh. I want to go back!!


    • I loved the copy of Bjork’s first album, and in the collection of objects for the most recent decade they have a digital pregnancy test!

      And my Facebook picture is totally me in a Viking helmet with sword and shield 🙂


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