Jón Sigurðsson

Jón Sigurðsson, málverk eftir Gustav Theodor Wegener. LÍÞ.Jón Sigurðsson was born on 17 June 1811 in Hrafnseyri near Arnarfjörður, on the west coast of Iceland. His parents were Sigurður Jónsson, a priest at Hrafnseyri and Þórdís Jónsdóttir. At the age of 18, Jón moved to Reykjavik, where he studied and worked for a few years. He was 22 years old when he traveled to Copenhagen in 1833 with the purpose of studying at the University of Copenhagen. 

Jón became a member of the restored Althing (Icelandic Parliament) in 1845 and traveled to Iceland after twelve years of residence in Denmark. He was member of parliament from 1845 to 1879 and stayed in Iceland for the duration of Althing, which was for six weeks every other year. Along with his studies, he had various work assignments and invested his time in his interests, including the publication of the journal Ný félagsrit (New Society Journal), where he, amongst other things, presented his ideas about an independent Iceland. 

From the beginning, Jón was the speaker, and most of the time, the president of the parliament. Jón was a key person in the fight for independence of Iceland. He lived in Copenhagen from when he first came to study in 1833 until he died in 1879. 

The Exhibition in Memory of Jón Sigurðsson and Ingibjörg Einarsdóttir on the 3rd floor of Jónshús is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 11 to 17 and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 to 16. Currently, the exhibition is closed, due to reconstruction. 

Jón Sigurðsson. Málverk eftir August Schiött.

The Icelandic Parliament had the exhibition constructed in 1993 in the old apartment of Jón and Ingibjörg. The exhibition was opened on the occasion of it being 150 years since the Icelandic Parliament was restored on 8 March in 1843.

In 2018, on the occasion of it being 100 years since Iceland became a free and sovereign state on 1 December 1918, the Icelandic Parliament has had the exhibition reconstructed to mirror the apartment as it was when Jón and Ingibjörg were living there, around 1860. Work is ongoing, and the new exhibition will be opened in the fall of 2018.