The exhibition "Family Photos" comprises photographs from Guðbjartur Ásgeirsson and his wife Herdís Guðmundsdóttir along with works from some of their descendants, who are among the most renown Icelandic photographers.
In 1911, 22-year-old ship’s steward Guðbjartur Ásgeirsson exchanged his bicycle for a camera, and that decision would have momentous consequences. Before long his wife, Herdís Guðmundsdóttir, was taking photographs too – for instance in 1936, during the last visit to Iceland of King Christian X of Denmark and Iceland. For many years the couple ran a photographic studio together: Amatörvinnustofa G. Ásgeirssonar. They left a remarkable photographic archive, now in the collection of the Reykjavík Museum of Photography: the photographs capture life in Iceland, at sea and on land, from poor working people to visiting royalty.
The brothers Magnús and Elías Hjörleifsson are Guðbjartur and Herdís’ grandsons, each making use of their camera in his own way: the late Elías captured images of nature for his art, while Magnús has enjoyed a long and successful career in commercial photography.
The youngest generation of the Kassahús Clan who feature in the exhibition are well-known both in Iceland and abroad: Ólafur Elíasson, Ari Magg and Silja Magg. Ari and Silja are Magnús’ children, who took their first steps in photography under his guidance; and Magnús gave his nephew Ólafur his first camera. Since then all three have excelled in their own fields.
Here we see the work of three generations in one family. Traditions, skills and ways of thinking often seem to pass from generation to generation, and in the art of the Kassahús Clan photography is the connecting thread. Their passion for this profession will never die.