Ragnar Olson

Fulton Fish Market, New York

Ragnar Olson

Fulton Fish Market, New York

This early 20th-century oil painting by Swedish-American artist Ragnar Olson (1884-1949) depicts several fishing boats moored at the iconic Fulton Fish Market, New York. The imposing city skyline stands beyond.

Founded in 1807, this busy market has been a popular sight throughout the decades. Originally, it was based on a simple system whereby fishermen would sail into port around midnight and sell their catch directly to housekeepers and cooks. Over time, this evolved to include intermediaries between the sellers and buyers. It was based near the Brooklyn Bridge, above Fulton Street in Lower Manhattan.

In 1939, when Olson produced this piece, a new building had been recently opened by the Mayor after the previous structure had slipped into the ocean ‘like a fish’.

Fulton Fish Market

Olson moved to New York as a teenager, undertaking his art studies in a local school. He travelled between Sweden and New York numerous times including in December 1939 aboard the ‘Gripsholm’.

Signed/dated lower right and held within a swept frame, which is possibly original.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 37½” x 31½” / 95cm x 80cm
Year of creation: 1939
Labels & Inscriptions: Title on reverse.
Provenance: Private collection, Sweden.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Minor craquelure but the paint is stable. Frame with some light wear.

Ragnar Olson

Ragnar Olson

Ragnar Olson (born Knut Ragnar Olson) was an accomplished Swedish-American painter of marine scenes, coastal views and landscapes. At the age of 18, he moved to New York from Gothenburg and spent numerous years in the USA.

Learn more about Ragnar Olson in our directory.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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