The project authors
Thingvalla church Eyford North Dakota USA
Book cover
The project authors
Index of churches
Icelandic church images
Photographic exhibit
Project support
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Gudmundur Vidarsson a professional photographer from Iceland
and John Rutford a retired historian, from St.Paul, Minnesota,
have joined together to collect and save important information on the Icelandic churches in the USA and Canada.

They started the project in 1994 and have actively worked on it from that time.


Gudmundur Vidarsson Photographer
Reykjavik - Iceland


Gudmundur was born in Reykjavik, Iceland in August 1961.

He studied photography in 1984 in the USA and attended Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California and graduated with a BA degree in advertising photography and color design in 1988.
Gudmundur has been involved in photography for over 20 years and has specialized in vertical aerial photography for mapping and documentary photography.

Vidarssons interest in the church project began while travelling with Mr. Rutford trough North Dakota back in 1994.

Gudmundur is currently residing in Iceland and lives with his wife, Ingunn Bernotusdottir, in Kopavogur, a suburb of Reykjavik.

The Icelandic churches


All the Icelandic churches have been photographed and documented from the outside and inside to create a good database of images and historical facts on each church.
The project´s collective information and images is an important part of the history of Icelandic immigrants and their migration to the USA and Canada.
This will indeed benefit future generations in their historical research on the Icelandic pioneers and their life in NEW ICELAND. The churches played an importance in all their activity´s and often became the center of their life in the new homeland.


John Rutford Historian
St.Paul - Minnesota - U.S.A


John Kinney Rutford was born in 1929 in St. Paul Minnesota.

He is the son of Skuli Hrutfjord who was the son of Thorleif Gudmundsson and Solveig Bjornsdottir from Vatnsdal in Iceland. Rutford received his education from the University of Minnesota a degree in social science.

He is now retired from his work at the St.Paul city offices. Rutford being a 2nd generation Icelandic has great interest in the Icelandic heritage. He has been working on the historical research on the church project and writing up the english version of the book manuscript.

John Rutford lives currently in St.Paul, Minnesota with his wife Donna Rutford.