Iceland’s Phallological Museum

Stephanie Spavento February 24, 2014

From the outside, the Icelandic Phallological Museum looks not unlike an office building, sharp and neat; the only thing that might give it away is its logo: a giant penis standing tall in front of a silhouette of Iceland. And, inside, there are penises everywhere. They crowd shelves and counter space, stand up on the floor, hang on the walls, and are suspended from the ceiling. What started as one man’s long-acquired private collection has become a public museum. “Collecting penises is like collecting anything—you can never stop, you can never catch up, you can always get a new one, a better one,” Sigurour Hjartarson, a retired teacher, told the Global Post. At last count the Icelandic Phallological Museum is home to 283 specimens of penises and penile parts from 93 species of animal . . .including human. Hjartarson’s goal is to collect a penis from every land and sea mammal indigenous to Iceland. This, of course, includes whales, seals, polar bears, and even hamsters; but also many mythological creatures like mermen, elves, and trolls. “No animal was ever killed for me or because of me,” Hjartarson says. The museum’s website has a thorough catalogue of the specimens and their provenance; the human specimens were donated legally and posthumously, to the relief of many Icelandic men, for sure. Besides the core collection of penises in jars of formaldehyde, there are other fascinating pieces: a lampshade made from bull testicles, a set of luxe and shiny silver phallus sculptures, the invisible elf penis, the green merman penis, and specimens from a zombie bull and corpse-eating cat. Though the idea of the Icelandic Phallological Museum may make some blush and other’s jaws drop, Hjartarson tries very hard to make a visit to the museum an educational one. He thinks of his collection more as a “natural history of the phallus,” rather than an oddity museum or tourist book mainstay; and wants visitors to see how the penis has influenced history, myth, art, psychology, and literature.

Husavik Phallusmuseum, aka Icelandic Phallological Museum.

Husavik Phallusmuseum, aka Icelandic Phallological Museum.