Iceland’s Best Photographers Chosen Skip to content

Iceland’s Best Photographers Chosen

Photographer and journalist Einar Falur Ingólfsson has undertaken the difficult, and presumably controversial, task of choosing the best photographers in Icelandic history. Their works will be published in a substantial new book along with an exhibition in the town of Akureyri.

Surtsey Island. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“I have chosen the thirteen best photographers who were born before 1960 and worked in the industry for at least 25 years,” Ingólfsson told visir.is. Nine of the photographers are deceased and four are living.

The exhibition will open on Akureyri’s day, August 29th at Akureyri Art Museum. Additionally a sizeable book will be published.

When asked if the selection process was difficult, Ingólfsson answered both yes and no. “I’m very familiar with the field. The majority of the works come from Iceland’s Museum of Photography, which belongs to the National Museum, and also from Reykjavik’s Museum of Photography.”

He hopes that the list will be controversial. “Some of the choices are completely obvious but other names will be debatable. That’s the way it is supposed to be. If everyone agreed, then we’d have a problem.”

Ingólfsson says that one of the biggest problems was the scarcity of eligible female photographers. “In the history of Icelandic photography, there are many cases of promising female photographers. But they always retired when they started a family. There are however two exceptions, and they both are included in the exhibition,” Ingólfsson says, and mentions Sigrídur Zoëga and Nicoline Wey-Wadt.

The oldest photographer on the list is photographer and book vendor Sigfús Eymundsson. Other legends include Pétur Brynjólfsson, father and son Magnús Ólafsson and Ólafur Magnússon, as well as Vigfús Sigurgeirsson, Jón Kaldal and Ólafur K. Magnússon.

The living photographers featured are Gudmundur Ingólfsson, Sigurgeir Sigurjónsson, Ragnar Axelsson and Páll Stefánsson.

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