The National Gallery of the Faroe Islands has a rich art collection, which comes from donations from the Faroe Islands Art Association and from the Parliament.
During World War II, when the ties between the Faroe Islands and Denmark were suddenly cut, Faroese students in Copenhagen took the initiative to establish the Faroe Islands Art Association. Founded in 1941, it was the mission of the Faroe Islands Art Association to provide a collection of Faroese art that could eventually be housed in the Faroe Islands. After the war, the Faroese nation also began to purchase art, especially after 1948, the collection began when the Parliament set up the Faroe Islands' General Art Museum in order to create a public art collection. The two collections - The Parliaments and the Faroe Islands Art Association - were merged into Listasavn Føroya in 1989, when the National Gallery of the Faroe Islands was officially established and the collections were handed over with a donation letter. Today, Listasavn Føroya is run with grants from the public and the parliament.
Since the large donation in 1989, the collection of the National Gallery of the Faroe Islands has been expanded with works bought and received as gifts, with friendly support from Danish as well as local funds. Today, the collection contains over 2,500 works, covering the period from the oldest preserved pictures from the 1830s to the latest contemporary art. This includes the largest collection of works by S. Joensen-Mikines and a large number of major works by the great Faroese artists.
As a publicly supported cultural institution, it is the task of the National Gallery of the Faroe Islands to collect and preserve Faroese art and research and mediate it as part of the Faroese cultural heritage. The mediation takes place in the form of book publications, research projects and exhibitions of art both in the Faroe Islands and abroad. From time to time special exhibitions of international art are displayed, which perspective the Faroese visual arts.
The museum's blue logo that looks like a simplified tree was inspired by a paper cutting by the author and artist William Heinesen.