Opened in 1959, Akranes Folk Museum owes its existence to the drive and determination of one man, the Rev. Jón M. Guðjónsson (1905-1994). An avid collector with a deep respect for the traditions of his native land, Guðjónsson became pastor in Akranes in 1946, a time when the ways of the past were rapidly disappearing amid the massive social changes brought about by events surrounding the Second World War.
In his previous parish south Iceland, Guðjónsson had already laid the foundation for what is now the museum at Skógar, and three years after his arrival he proposed a similar scheme for Akranes. Support for the idea, however, was slow in coming, money even slower, and it took ten years of dogged persevance and sheer hard work before the dream became reality with the opening og a museum in the glebe at Garðar, the house adjacent to what is now the main building.
Guðjónsson´s legacy to the people of Akranes in particular, and Iceland in general, is immeasurable, and the museum he leaves, behind, now long outgrown its original home, is tribute not only to his personal hard work and unshakable resolve, but a vibrant monument to a material culture and way of life now gone which formed the roots of a community, foundation of a town.
Category: Museums - History