The Maniitsoq Museum was inaugurated on October 25, 1974 by Thomas Petrussen, who would later become the museum curator, at Imeqvej B-210 building, previous office of the former town treasurer. The Maniitsoq Museum has been situated at its current location in Kirkegårdsdalen (“Churchyard Valley”) since January 12, 1980. In 1970, the four old (1850s) colonial buildings that today house the museum were to be dismantled and reassembled as a kind of open-air museum in Nuuk. In response to local opposition to this decision, the town council decided to move the buildings from their original location on the waterfront to the Illunnguit area in Kirkegårdsdalen where they would constitute the new Maniitsoq Museum. Two Danish architects from Copenhagen, Peter Hee and Jørgen Jessen, arrived in Maniitsoq in 1970 to measure and document the buildings, as well as supervise their dismantling and storage so they could be rebuilt at their designated new location: a committee was established in town “for the reconstruction of the four old colonial buildings in Sukkertoppen” (the old Danish name for Maniitsoq). The first buildings were ready for use in early 1977: colonial building B-16 was used for housing, the provisions depot B-25 served as a local library, the red stone house B-28 was dedicated to the central heating, and the white stone house B-56 became the local museum that was officially opened on January 12, 1980.
During the 1980s, the museum encountered difficulties storing and exhibiting the increasing number of artifacts – fur garments, kayaking gear, pipe organs, works of art, etc. – and over the years all four buildings came to house Maniitsoq Museum. The latest building to be incorporated into the complex was B-25 in 2010, when the local library moved to the city hall. All four colonial buildings are now listed as historical monuments. Over the years, several prominent guests have visited Maniitsoq Museum, including a visit in 1993 by former Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen and his Greenlandic counterpart at the time, Lars Emil Johansen. The last official visit was in 2015, when Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark were given a tour of the museum. Maniitsoq Museum is a repository of local cultural history that also has a large art collection: it serves as a driving force in the cultural life of the local community, reaching out to both children and adults by organizing activities and exhibitions. The cultural historical collection is extremely varied and reflects the wide diversity of the former Maniitsoq administrative district. The museum’s collection of traditional clothing and historic artifacts, and the interior furnishings from the town’s old church are well worth the visit. The permanent exhibitions also include a wonderful art collection featuring works by local artists and others with links to Maniitsoq. A large number of carved figurines and paintings make up the bulk of the displayed artwork. There are several paintings and works of art by Gitz-Johansen in the collection as well as “The land of Caribou,” which is an exhibition about caribou (reindeer) hunting in the past and present, with a primary focus on the Angujârtorfiup Nunâ area. This exhibition is based on both local knowledge and academic research. Read more on