In honor of the 125th birthday of Icelandic sculptor Ásmundur Sveinsson, the Reykjavík Art Museum is offering anyone named who shares the sculptor’s name free entry to Ásmundarsafn, the museum honoring his life and work, for the next year, RÚV reports.
According to Statistics Iceland, there are currently only 216 people with the first name Ásmundur in Iceland, and only 12 who have Ásmundur as a middle name. However, if you are lucky enough to have a friend with this name, the museum has said that all Ásmundurs may bring a guest with them when taking advantage of their free entry.
Ásmundur Sveinsson was born May 20, 1893 and died in 1982, at the age of 89. As was explained in the program notes of a recent exhibition, Ásmundur “was among the pioneers of Icelandic sculpture art and one of those who introduced new artistic ideas to Iceland in the 20th century. [Ásmundur’s] inspiration came partly from Icelandic myths and folklore, but the society and technological advancements of the 20th century were also a constant source of ideas. [Ásmundur’s] work can be seen in public places all over the country and in numerous locations in Reykjavík. This is in line with [Ásmundur’s] view that art should be among the people and a part of their daily life.” Perhaps most notable among these publicly installed sculptures are Vatnsberinn (“The Water Carrier”), which is located on the corner of Lækjargata and Bankastræti in downtown Reykjavík, and Andlit solar (“The face of the sun”), which stands right in front of MR high school.
A year after Ásmundur died, his home—a truly unique, white-domed structure located not far from the botanical garden and pool in the Laugardalur area on the east side of Reykjavík—was turned into a museum. Ásmundarsafn is part of the Reykjavík Art Museum’s three-museum consortium, along with Kjarvalstaðir, dedicated to painter Johannes Kjarval, and Hafnarhús. Ásmundarsafn is “surrounded by Sveinsson’s sculptures in the garden, both his earlier massive figures and his later light abstract compositions” and makes for an excellent cultural outing in Reykjavík, whether you can get in for free or not.
Read more about Ásmundur Sveinsson and a selection of his most important works on the Reykjavík Art Museum’s website, here.