Inside Out: Collecting on the Peripheries

15:00 - 18:00
Free entry

The Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum and the Living Art Museum have come together in collaboration with The Nordic House and initiated a symposium focused on the collection of outsider art.  The symposium will examine the environment of museums with specific goals and collection values, their role within the ecosystem of art, and where they are headed.


Margrét M. Norðdahl, founder of Listvinnzlan, board member of Art Without Borders and former board member of the Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum

Sigríður Regína Sigurþórsdóttir, Collections Manager

Elísabet Gunnarsdóttir, Chairwoman of the Board of the Icelandic Art Centre and Director of the ASÍ Art Museum

Oddný Eir Ævarsdóttir, philosopher, writer and broadcaster

~ Refreshments ~


Auður Jörundsdóttir, Director of the Icelandic Art Centre

Helga Lára Þorsteinsdóttir, Head of Archives at RÚV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service and member of the Museum Council of Iceland

Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson, Professor of Museum Studies, University of Iceland

Ingibjörg Jóhannsdóttir, Director of the National Gallery of Iceland

Moderators are Sunna Ástþórsdóttir, director of the Living Art Museum and Unnar Örn Jónsson, artist and board member at the Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum.

The symposium will be in Icelandic, interpreted and subtitled in English in real time.
Access to Elissa is good, accessible and gender neutral bathrooms are on the same floor.


The Living Art Museum and the Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum have reputations as original, creative institutions, that seek out novelties and niches in art collecting and management. They look in all directions in their efforts to find and preserve works and mediums that fit their collection and exhibition strategies.

The symposium is intended as an independent continuation of a conference held by the Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum in 2018 at the National Museum entitled From Periphery to Centre. The emphasis in that meeting was on the development and status of folk and outsider art. Following that discussion, it became clear that there is a need to promote discourse related to the artistic creation of marginalized groups and artists who fall outside “big art history”. There was also a need to discover whether, and in what way, the collection policies of museums in Iceland uphold ideals of participation, diversity, equality and equal autonomy among artists. This symposium aims to pick up these threads and focus on collection policies pertaining to contemporary peripheral works.

If it was true in 2018 that the periphery of art was a relatively well-defined entity, which was approaching the centre stage to some extent, then we can say that today these ideas have become more nuanced. It is harder to spot where the centre stage of art merges with the periphery, or if these concepts are even still applicable. Today, there is a strong demand that the methods of collecting and programming take better account of the needs of different groups. The symposium will set out to create a dialogue that looks at contemporary complexities, with a particular focus on the opportunities and challenges faced by small museums with specific collection policies and the environment provided for them.