Close-up: Hafthor Yngvason dreams big

Formerly director of Reykjavik Art Museum in Iceland and of public art in Cambridge, Mass., Hafthor Yngvason arrived in Bellingham in 2015. Since then, he has had a measurable impact on the quality, security, protection and restoration of the 33 Minimal, Post-Minimal and Postmodern artworks in Western’s Outdoor Sculpture Collection, mostly large-scale outdoor sculptures. Considered among the top three university-based sculpture collections in the US (with MIT and the University of California – San Diego), the collection held by the Western Gallery began in 1960 with an early bronze fountain by James FitzGerald. It grew in the ensuing five decades to include works by high-ly praised American, European and Asian artists.