The exhibition Tryggvi Magnússon and the coat of arms of the republic of Iceland is in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Icelandic republic and it portrays a.o. drawings that Tryggvi´s descendants have presented to the National and University Library. Besides, there are works from The National Museum of Iceland and some private owners. Many sketches for the coat of arms of the republic by Tryggvi and other artists are on the exhibition, besides some older versions of the coat of arms. When the resurrection of the republic in 1944 was getting closer, the prime minister, Björn Þórðarson, gave the task of designing a new coat of arms to three Secretaries of State, Vigfús Einarsson, Agnar Kl. Jónsson and Birgir Thorlacius, along with Matthías Þórðarson, the director of the National Museum who had been advising the design of the coat of arms in 1919. Matthías Þórðarson was an intermediary in asking many of the nation´s most prominent artists to to present some proposals of a new coat of arms, the so called Coat of arms of the Republic. Tryggvi Magnússon´s proposal was selected and presented as the Coat of arms of the Icelandic Republic in a cabinet meeting on the 17th of June 1944. The Danish crown was removed and the shape of the shield was changed. The bearers were changed and also the base under the badge. When designing the base Tryggvi had in mind the columnar basalt „church floor“ at Kirkjubæjarklaustur. The original drawing and the proposals are conserved in the National Museum of Iceland, but other drawings are stored privately and in The National and University Library of Iceland.
The exhibition stays open until February 1, 2015.