Hansína Regína Björnsdóttir

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Hansína Regína Björnsdóttir
Hansína Regína Björnsdóttir.png
Born(1884-06-06)6 June 1884
Eskifjörður, Iceland
Died5 February 1973(1973-02-05) (aged 88)
Djúpivogur, Iceland
Other namesH. Eiríksson
Years active1903-1950s
RelativesHans Jonatan (great-grandfather)

Hansína Regína Björnsdóttir (6 June 1884-5 February 1973) was an Icelandic photographer, whose main body of works were signed with the name H. Eiríksson. Her archive of photographic works is held by the National Museum of Iceland.

Early life[edit]

Hansína Regína Björnsdóttir was born on 6 June 1884 in Eskifjörður, Iceland to Susanna Sophie (née Weywadt) and Björn Eiríksson. She was one of eight children born into the family and raised by her mother who ran the household and the dairy, while her father was a woodwright.[1][2] She was the great-granddaugher of Hans Jonatan,[2] originally from Saint Croix in the Danish West Indies. Jonatan had been taken by his mistress Henrietta Catharina Schimmelmann to Copenhagen and, after losing a lawsuit to gain his freedom, became runaway slave, fleeing to Iceland. Jonatan was the first immigrant in Iceland of African descent[3] and his marriage with Katrin Antoniusdottir produced two children, Ludvik Stefan and Hansina Regina,[4] who would marry Eirikur Eiríksson.[5]

When she was four years old, Björnsdóttir went to live with her mother Susanna's sister, Nicoline Weywadt on the family homestead Teigarhorn, near Djúpivogur. Weywadt taught Björnsdóttir photography and sent her for further studies in Copenhagen.[2] Completing her education in 1903, the same year her mother died,[1] Björnsdóttir returned to Teigarhorn.[6]


Björnsdóttir took over the studio of her aunt, which she operated until 1911.[6] That year, she married Jóni Kristján Lúðvíkssyni with whom she would have five children. For a while she stopped taking photographs, but resumed her career, using the professional name H. Eiríksson. Due to an accident, some of her work was destroyed, but what remains are images of people and the landscapes around Berufjörður.[1]

Death and legacy[edit]

Björnsdóttir died on 5 February 1973 and was buried at the churchyard in Djúpivogur. In 1981, the National Museum of Iceland purchased 1,200 plates and tools which she worked with. In addition, the archive included albums containing photographs made by Weywadt.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d Stefánsdóttir 2014, p. 15.
  2. ^ a b c Palsson 2016, p. 181.
  3. ^ Seidler 2018.
  4. ^ Palsson 2016, p. 167.
  5. ^ Palsson 2016, p. 233.
  6. ^ a b Hafsteinsson 2015, p. 4.


  • Hafsteinsson, Guðmundur Lúther (27 February 2015). "Teigarhorn við Berufjörð" [Teigarhorn at Berufjörður] (PDF). thjodminjasafn.is (in Icelandic). Reykjavík, Iceland: National Museum of Iceland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  • Palsson, Gisli (2016). The Man Who Stole Himself: The Slave Odyssey of Hans Jonathan. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-31328-3.
  • Seidler, Christoph (8 April 2018). "Die wundersame Geschichte des Hans Jonathan" [The miraculous story of Hans Jonathan]. Spiegel Online (in German). Hamburg, Germany. Archived from the original on 22 April 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  • Stefánsdóttir, Magnea Bára (September 2014). Austfirskir kvenljósmyndarar 1871 - 1944: Rannsókn og sýningarhandrit [Eastern Icelandic women photographers 1871-1944: Study and exhibition script] (PDF) (Master's degree) (in Icelandic). Reykjavík, Iceland: University of Iceland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.

External links[edit]

images by H. Eiriksson, Berufirði