Meet the obsessives and dreamers of this remote island nation, and travel through the collections of Iceland's eclectic museums and into its curious past.
Welcome to Iceland, a very small nation with a very large number (two hundred and sixty five) of (mostly) very small museums.
Founded in the backyards of houses, begun as jokes or bets or memorials to lost friends, these museums tell the story of an enchanted island where bridges arrived only at the beginning of the 20th century, and waterproof shoes only with the second world war. A nation formerly dirt poor, then staggeringly rich, and now building its way to affluence once again. A nation where, in the remote and wild places, you might encounter still a shore laddie, a sorcerer or a ghost.
From Reykjavik's renowned Phallological Museum to a house of stones on the eastern coast; from the curious monsters which roam the remote shores of Bildudalur to a museum of whales which proves impossible to find, here is an enchanted story of obsession, curation, and the peculiar magic of this isolated island.
Kendra Greene began her museum career marrying text to the exhibition wall, painstakingly, character by character, each vinyl letter trembling at the point of a bonefolder. She became an essayist during a Fulbright grant in South Korea, finished her MFA at the University of Iowa as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow, and then convinced the Dallas Museum of Art they needed a Writer in Residence. Of late, she is a Visiting Artist at the Nasher Sculpture Center and a Library Innovation Lab Fellow at Harvard University.
Museology & heritage studies