The collection

The municipality of Kópavogur began collecting artworks systematically on the occasion of its tenth anniversary in 1965, when it was agreed to establish, and make a fixed annual contribution to, an arts and culture fund. Kópavogur Art Museum – Gerðarsafn opened in 1994 in a building designed by the architect Benjamín Magnússon. Its collection currently holds approximately 4,250 items. The 1,400 works by Gerður Helgadóttir donated by her heirs in 1977 were joined in 1983 by approximately 300 pieces by spouses Barbara and Magnús Á. Árnason, donated by their memorial fund. Since the museum opened, 160 additional works by Barbara and Magnús have been donated by institutions and individuals and the museum has bought tapestries, watercolours, a large wooden wall work, prints and drawings by Barbara. In 2009, the children of Valgerður Briem donated 1640 pieces, mostly drawings, by their mother to the museum. Works that have either been bought by the Arts and Culture Committee or donated by individuals now number approximately 650. The painting Kvöld í Kópavogi (A Night in Kópavogur) by Eiríkur Smith was probably the first artwork bought by the municipality in 1965. The vast majority of acquisitions are by Icelandic artists, mostly living artists. A large part of the museum's collection is displayed in municipal offices and other municipal institutions.
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