The Mothers' Garden / Mæðragarðurinn

The Mothers' Garden / Mæðragarðurinn (HM2824)

Location: Reykjavík 101
Country: Iceland

N 64° 8.737', W 21° 56.304'

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(English side:)
As its name implies, the Mothers' Garden, opened in 1925, was primarily intended for mothers with their children. It had previously been a patch of uncultivated land. It was part of the estate of the Skálholtskot croft, located at what is now Laufasvegur 13-17, an outlying property belonging to Reykjavik farm estate. In the grass field which now is the Mothers' Garden was a spring, known as the Skáholt Spring, whose water was said to be unusually fresh and wholesome. The widening of Lækjargata in 1950 encroached on the Garden.

"Blessed be the little fingers / of my mother / that picked cottongrass in the march"
Vilborg Dagbjartsdóttir: From Candlemass

Motherly Love, a sculpture by Nina Sæmundsson, was installed on the site of the Skáholt Spring in 1930. It was the first sculpture by a woman to be erected in Reykjavik and the first public sculpture that was not a memorial or portrait, but an autonomous work of art. It is at once simple and poetic, embedded with an intimacy that fits the subject. Sæmundsson made Motherly Love in Paris in 1924 and submitted it for the fall exhibition at the Salon d'Automne at the Grand Palais, for which she received rave reviews and honourable mention under the French flag.

Sæmundsson studied sculpture at the Royal Danish Academy in



Copenhagen from 1916-1920. She stayed in Rome and Paris for a while, moved to New York in 1926 and from there to Hollywood four years later where she lived and worked for the next 25 years. Among her well known works are the sculptures Spirit of Achievement, situated above the main entrance of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York, and Prometheus in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. Sæmundsson's Mermaid was installed in the Reykjavik City Lake in 1959 but destroyed by a bomb shortly after. It was replaced with a duplicate copy at the south end of the Lake in 2014.

(Icelandic side:)

Mæðragarðurinn var gerður árið 1925 og fyrst og fremst ætlaður mæðrum með börn, eins og nafnið gefur til kynna. Aður var þetta óræktarblettur er tilheyrði Skálholtskoti, sem var ein af hjáleigum Vikurbæjarins og stóð við Laufásveg milli húsa nr. 13 og 17. Á túninu þar sem Mæðragarðurinn er nú var vatnsból, sem nefndist Skálholtslind eða Skálholtsbrunnur. Vatnið í lindinni þótti heilnæmara en í flestum öðrum vatnsbólum. Garðurinn var minnkaður töluvert þegar Lækjargata var breikkuð um 1950.

„Blessaðir veri fingurnir smáu / hennar mömmu / sem tíndi fifu í mýrinni"
Vilborg Dagbjartsdóttir: Úr Kyndilmessu

Styttan Móðurást eftir Nínu Sæmundsson (1892-1965) var sett upp árið 1930 á þeim stað sem Skálholtslindin var. Þetta var fyrsta myndin eftir konu sem reist



var á opinberum vettvangi í Reykjavík og fyrsta opinbera höggmyndin sem var ekki minnismerki.

Myndin er í senn einföld og ljóðræn og yfir henni hvílir innileikablær sem hæfir viðfangsefninu vel. Hún varð til í París 1924 og var sýnd á Haustsýningunni í Grand Palais þar sem hún hlaut mikla athygli og heiðurssess undir franska fánanum.

Nína nam höggmyndalist í Konunglegu listaakademiunni í Kaupmannahöfn á árunum 1916-1920. Hún dvaldi i Róm og París um tíma en 1926 fiutti hún til New York og fjórum árum siðar til Hollywood, þar sem hún starfaði í aldarfjórðung. Meðal þekktra verka Nínu er Afrekshugur, sem stendur yfir aðalanddyri Waldorf-Astoria hótelsins í New York, og mynd Prómeþeifsí MacArthur Parki Los Angeles. Höggmynd Ninu, Hafmeyjan, sem var sett upp í Tjörninni í Reykjavík 1959 og sprengd í loft upp stuttu seinna, má sjá í nýrri afsteypu í suðurenda Tjarnarinnar.
Details
HM NumberHM2824
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 at 1:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)27W E 454341 N 7113577
Decimal Degrees64.14561667, -21.93840000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 64° 8.737', W 21° 56.304'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds64° 8' 44.22" N, 21° 56' 18.24" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Lækjargata, Reykjavík 101, IS
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