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Museums in Strange Places

Museums in Strange Places is a podcast about Icelandic museums and museum culture.

Subscribe to Museums in Strange Places and you can expect fascinating conversations with Icelandic museum professionals, world class exhibitions, private museums in gas stations, an introduction to Icelanders and their knack for storytelling, and a unique window into the inner workings of museums on this strange but wonderful little island.

Get bonus material from each episode (photos, further reading, links) at hhethmon.com. Use the hashtag #MuseumsinStrangePlaces on social media.

The podcast is hosted by Hannah Hethmon, an American Fulbright Fellow living in Reykjavík. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @hannah_rfh or on the web at hhethmon.com. Hannah has a BA in English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park and an MA from the University of Iceland in Medieval Icelandic Studies. After completing her MA, she spent two years as the Marketing Coordinator for the American Association for State and Local History, a Nashville-based national nonprofit dedicated to serving history museums, historical societies, and other public history institutions.

Dec 18, 2017

Hafsteinn Thor has always been interested in geology, nature, biology, and philosophy...and acting and directing...and singing and learning new instruments. But when he met his wife's family, he was draw into their decades-old passion for stone and mineral collecting. Last year, he and his father-in-law finally set up...


Dec 4, 2017

I visit the Snorrastofa, a research and cultural center at Reykholt, the farm in southwestern Iceland where the great medieval Icelandic historian and writer Snorri Sturluson built his home, a church, and later a small fortress.

Snorrastofa Project Manager Sigrun Guttomsdóttir Þormar and I talk about Snorri's dramatic...


Nov 21, 2017

I visit the Reykjavík City Museum to talk with Museum Director Guðbrandur Benediktsson about museum mergers, historians as presidents, the state of history in Iceland, and the future of history museums in Reykjavík.

The music in this episode is "Humble History Song" by the Icelandic singer/ songwriter


Nov 6, 2017

In this episode, I drive thirty minutes outside of Reykjavík to visit Gljúfrasteinn, the museum–and former home–of Halldór Laxness, writer and Nobel laureate. His remarkable life spanned almost the entire 20th century, from 1902 to 1998. He published his first novel at 17 and would go on to publish more than 60...


Oct 30, 2017

I descend into the historic city public toilets of downtown Reykjavík to check out one of the newer museums in town, the Icelandic Punk Museum. You know it's legit because Johnny Rotten himself presided over the opening in 2016.

In a town with it's fair share of tourist traps, this space is no gimmick. The  museum was...