The nation's most significant relics are preserved at the National Museum of Iceland (Ůjˇminjasafn ═slands), founded in 1863. All kinds of sources of Icelandic cultural history are also stored there, as well as information about national life and customs. In addition, district museums in the country look after relics which relate especially to social ways in the regions. The National Museum of Iceland housed the National Gallery of Iceland (Listasafn ═slands) until it moved to its own building in 1988.
The National Gallery of Iceland is a museum of national artworks with an emphasis on nineteenth- and twentieth-century art, Icelandic and exotic. It has the largest collection of Icelandic works in the country, by all of the greatest artists of the nation.
The National Book Stack (Ůjˇarbˇkhlaan) was established in 1994. It is the largest library in the country and combines the National Library of Iceland and University of Iceland Library. The National Library of Iceland - University Library (Landsbˇkasafn ═slands - Hßsˇlabˇkasafn) is a research library and functions as both the national collection and the library of the University of Iceland. Its main tasks are, amongst other things, to keep all material published in Icelandic and to operate as a general lending library which fulfils the need of the University of Iceland as regards Icelandic and foreign scholarly texts. It has special national and manuscript sections.
The artworks belonging to the City of ReykjavÝk are kept at Kjarvalsstair (the ReykjavÝk Art Museum). It also houses a splendid exhibition room. Kjarvalsstair is named after the Icelandic painter, Jˇhannes S. Kjarval, one of the most favoured artists of the nation. He bequeathed a large part of his work and personal items to the City of ReykjavÝk in 1968. Special exhibitions of Kjarval's works are held at Kjarvalsstair every year.
A special Culture House (Ůjˇmenningarh˙s) was opened in 2000 in an old building which before housed the National Library of Iceland and which is considered to be amongst the treasures of Iceland's architectural history. The Culture House hold exhibitions which bear upon the cultural history of Iceland.
The Living Art Museum (Nřlistasafni, lit. the new art museum) is a very large collection of artwork and sources that has managed to preserve a special part of Iceland's art history. The collection includes works by most of the members of the S┌M group, the museum has works by many of the most important young artists in the country, and it constantly adds new works. The museum also holds works by 50 foreign artists, among them one of the world's largest collections of works by the German-Swiss artist Dieter Roth. All the works in the museum's holdings have been chosen by the artists themselves, not the museum's experts.
In addition, there are many smaller museums and exhibition halls throughout the country.
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