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Olga Fisch Furniture

Ecuadorian, Hungarian, 1901-1990

Despite her Hungarian roots, artist Olga Fisch is remembered as the “mother of Ecuadorian folk art” due to her love of Ecuador’s art and culture. Best known for her vibrant rug designs and tapestries, Fisch contributed greatly to promoting Ecuadorian folk art abroad and introducing the country’s traditions and heritage to the world. 

Born in Budapest in 1901, Fisch became interested in art at an early age. In her youth, she collected Hungarian folk crafts and was keen on becoming a painter. 

In the 1920s, Fisch studied realist painting at an art school in Düsseldorf, Germany. There, she met her first husband, the sculptor Jupp Rübsam, and the couple moved to Vienna, Austria, where she worked as a ceramics designer. Following their divorce, Fisch grew unsettled by the burgeoning anti-Semitism in pre-World War II Germany. After she married for a second time, Fisch and her husband traveled to Morocco, Eritrea, Italy and the United States before receiving asylum status in Ecuador in 1939.

Settling in Quito, Fisch became enamored with traditional Ecuadorian folk art and returned to her childhood hobby of collecting crafts — everything from pottery and hand-carved wood sculptures to colorful textiles. Fisch’s sizable collection prompted her to open a gallery, called Folklore, in 1942. However, what she considered beautiful art was regarded by others as crude.

“When I first started collecting the local Indian art and then opened this gallery, people were shocked,” she said in an interview with The Christian Science Monitor. “I remember someone asking, ‘How can you, as a cultured European woman, collect this trash?’” Nevertheless, Fisch’s collection soon garnered international attention and acclaim.

In the 1940s, Fisch began designing folk art-inspired rugs, hand-woven by indigenous Ecuadorian weavers. One rug caught the eye of acclaimed writer Lincoln Kirstein, then curator of New York’s Museum of Modern Art; he commissioned her to create a rug for the museum’s collection. Over the years, Fisch also made rugs for the United Nations Headquarters and the Metropolitan Opera

Fisch returned to Hungary in 1987 to visit family members who had survived the Nazi regime. She later came back to Quito, where she died in 1990. 

Today, Fisch’s legacy lives on through the Olga Fisch Folklore brand, store and museum, which still operates in Quito. Her works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Textile Museum in Washington, DC.

On 1stDibs, discover a range of vintage Olga Fisch rugs and other art.

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Creator: Olga Fisch
Tres Pescados By Paula Barragán
By Olga Fisch
Located in Quito, EC
Crafted from 100% Ecuadorian sheep wool, the Tres Pescados Tapestry is a testament to traditional artistry. Handwoven and meticulously dyed with colorfast pigments, each piece is a u...
Category

Early 2000s Ecuadorean Olga Fisch Furniture

Materials

Silver

Frutas Tapestry By Paula Barragán
By Olga Fisch
Located in Quito, EC
Crafted from 100% Ecuadorian sheep wool, the Frutas Tapestry is a testament to traditional artistry. Handwoven and meticulously dyed with colorfast pigments, each piece is a unique e...
Category

2010s Ecuadorean Olga Fisch Furniture

Materials

Wool

Vintage Olga Fisch Ecuadorian Rug. Size: 6' 10" x 10' 4"
By Olga Fisch
Located in New York, NY
Stunning vintage Ecuadorian rug by Olga Fisch, origin: Ecuador, circa mid-20th century. Size: 6 ft 10 in x 10 ft 4 in (2.08 m x 3.15 m) Olga Fisch was an inspired artist of the mid-...
Category

Mid-20th Century Ecuadorean Art Deco Olga Fisch Furniture

Materials

Wool

Mid 20th Century Ecuadorian Carpet ByOlga Fisch ( 11' x 13'4"-335 x 406 )
By Olga Fisch
Located in New York, NY
Ecuadorian carpet designed by Olga Fisch 13'4" x 11'0" Of Hungarian origin, Olga Fisch (1901-1991) emigrated in 1933, first to Morocco and in 1939 to Ecuador, ahead of the political instability wracking Europe. Already an artist and collector of folk art, Fisch quickly took to the local arts and crafts available in the Quito markets. Folk and Paleolithic cave art and established a workshop creating knotted pile carpets to her individualistic and unique designs. The firm continues today, as does the museum of (primarily) Ecuadorian folk art. Only domestic sheep wool is employed and the rugs are firmly symmetrically (Turkish) knotted on a cotton foundation at a density of 60,000 knots per square meter or about 40 knots per square inch. is a rare oval creation with the “Cabalito” pattern inspired by the folk embroidery on the “danzantes’ participants in the Corpus Christi processions from Cotopaxi, Ecuador. A number of these costumes are in the Olga Fisch Folk Art Museum in Quito. The pattern densely fills the ivory field with mobile figures, horses and vegetal motives. It is reminiscent of certain Greek Island women’s costume embroideries. Often the “Cabalito” pattern occupies an oval or lobed section on an otherwise plain rectangular carpet, but here is the pattern takes up almost all of the oval, with its energetic filigree of figures, fauna and flora. Olga Fisch carpets are as 1950s modern as they get and our examples cry out for the right Danish or Swedish modern furniture as their perfect accompaniments. Some Italian Murano glass table objects won’t hurt either. A Neutra or Schindler house in the Los Angeles hills is definitely the perfect context, but any midcentury ranch...
Category

1950s Ecuadorean Vintage Olga Fisch Furniture

Materials

Wool

Modernist Abstract Ecuadorian Tapestry / Wall Hanging Designed by Olga Fisch
By Olga Fisch
Located in Buffalo, NY
Stunning Modernist Abstract Ecuadorian Tapestry / wall hanging designed by Olga Fisch.... Of Hungarian origin, Olga Fisch (1901-1991) emigrated in...
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1960s Ecuadorean Mid-Century Modern Vintage Olga Fisch Furniture

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Wool

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Of Hungarian origin, Olga Fisch (1901-1991) emigrated in 1933, first to Morocco and in 1939 to Ecuador, head of the political instability wracking Europe. Already an artist and collector of Folk Art, Fisch quickly took to the local arts and crafts available in the Quito markets. Folk and Paleolithic cave art and established a workshop creating knotted pile carpets to her individualistic and unique designs. The firm continues today, as does the museum of (primarily) Ecuadorian Folk Art. Only domestic sheep wool is employed and the rugs are firmly symmetrically (Turkish) knotted on a cotton foundation at a density of 60,000 knots per square meter or about 40 knots per square inch. It takes four weavers about six weeks to complete a 9’ by 12’ carpet. Our two carpets, both from the 1950s, are in her most popular and iconic-patterns. Number 21953 (12’ by 16)’ in the “Caverna” pattern, displays, on an ivory ground, and without borders, an agitated congeries of stick figures of hunters and prey, primarily deer, adapted from the Paleolithic cave paintings of Lascaux, discovered in 1940 and incredibly influential in mid-century art. Whereas most examples are in the 9’ by 12’ or 10’ by 13’ formats, this is certainly one of the largest renderings of the pattern. The increased size allows the larger hunters and animals free movement, and increases the impact of the individual figures. Small variants were also woven, with only a few animals, also on a beige ground. Our other carpet, number 21802 (11.0 x 13.4) is a rare oval creation with the “Cabalito” pattern inspired by the folk embroidery on the “danzantes’ participants in the Corpus Christi processions from Cotopaxi, Ecuador. A number of these costumes are in the Olga Fisch Folk Art Museum in Quito. The pattern densely fills the ivory field with mobile figures, horses and vegetal motives. It is reminiscent of certain Greek Island women’s costume embroideries. Often the “Cabalito” pattern occupies an oval or lobed section on an otherwise plain rectangular carpet, but here is the pattern takes up almost all of the oval, with its energetic filigree of figures, fauna and flora. Other popular Olga Fisch patterns include the “Churos” design with angular discrete spirals on a subtly tones beige ground, a study in midcentury...
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W 77 in L 114 in
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Olga Fisch furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Olga Fisch furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wool and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Olga Fisch furniture, although black editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Olga Fisch were created in the mid-century modern style in south america during the mid-20th century. Prices for Olga Fisch furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $7,800 and can go as high as $16,500, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $13,600.

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