The National Gallery of Iceland is a national museum and the main emphasis of the collection is in 19th and 20th-century Icelandic art although international art is featured as well. The museum owns the most valuable collection of works by Icelandic artists in the country. The collection also includes an impressive array of works by internationally acclaimed artists such as Picasso, Edward Munch, Karel Appel, Hans Hartung and many more.
The National Gallery of Iceland was founded in 1884 in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Björn Bjarnason. The museum remained an independent institution from its inception in 1884 and until 1916 when Althingi – the Icelandic Parliament – decided to make it a department in the National Heritage Museum. The collection was on display at the House of Parliament from 1885 until the year 1950 when it was transferred to the building of the National Heritage Museum. In 1987 the collection was moved yet again to a new and the present location at Fríkirkjuvegur 7.
The National Gallery of Iceland regularly holds colourful exhibitions reflecting its collections and it also hosts exhibitions by individual artists, Icelandic and foreign ones. These are complimented by an extensive publication of books, catalogues, posters and postcards.