Food & Drink Sep 19, 2012

Saga-Sites: Landscapes of the Icelandic Sagas

Saga Sites: Landscapes of the Icelandic Sagas

Art exhibit of works from W.G. Collingwood and Einar Falur Ingolfsson
Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America
58 Park Avenue @ 38th Street 
New York, NY 10016 
September 29, 2012 – January 12, 2013 

The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) has announced the Saga-Sites: Landscapes of the Icelandic Sagas exhibition, which showcases the medieval narratives of Iceland.  The exhibit will be held at the Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center In America, in New York, NY from September 29th to January 12, 2013. These narratives, known as the Íslendingasögur (The Saga of Icelanders), detail the migration, settlement, and daily struggles and triumphs of Iceland’s settler society.  For the first time in the United States, these Icelandic stories will be told through the 19th-century watercolor paintings of British artist W.G. Collingwood and the personal, documentary photographs of Einar Falur Ingólfsson, a celebrated Icelandic artist.  Although both artists lived a century apart, their work comes together to seamlessly tell the Viking Age stories.   

The exhibit consists of 60 original watercolors and contemporary photographs done by Collingwood and Ingólfsson. In 1897, Collingwood embarked on a three-month tour of the Icelandic saga sites, during which he created more than 300 watercolors. His mission was to create a visual background to which the Viking Age sagas were told. 100 years later, Ingólfsson set out to retrace Collingwood’s steps, using his artwork as a guide, so that he could create a visually updated, photographic account of the same saga sites.

The exhibit will also showcase Emily Lethbridge’s Memories of Old Awake. The scholar’s film is based on the Icelandic saga Gísla saga, a story of adultery and conflicting family loyalty. Lethbridge aims to explain how the saga is written into Iceland’s West Fjords’ landscape.            

Saga-Sites, which is presented by The American-Scandinavian Foundation and organized by the National Museum of Iceland, will open at the Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, on September 29th, and will be on view until January 12, 2013. Along with the exhibition, the ASF has developed programs ranging from lectures and book talks to workshops for kids and families.  Click here to view the program calendar.