French Italian Russian Portuguese Turkish

International Review

Winter 2018/2019 Issue, Vol. XIII No. 1

Welcome to the Gurdjieff International Review—a source of informed essays and commentary on the life, writings, and teachings of George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff. Mr. Gurdjieff was an extraordinary man, a master in the truest sense. His teachings speak to our most essential questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is the purpose of life, and of human life in particular? As a young man, Gurdjieff relentlessly pursued these questions and became convinced that practical answers lay within ancient traditions. Through many years of searching and practice he discovered answers and then set about putting what he had learned into a form understandable to the Western world. Gurdjieff maintained that, owing to the abnormal conditions of modern life, we no longer function in a harmonious way. He taught that in order to become harmonious, we must develop new faculties—or actualize latent potentialities—through “work on oneself.” He presented his teachings and ideas in three forms: writings, music, and movements which correspond to our intellect, emotions, and physical body.

Pupils of Gurdjieff II

In this, our twenty-second issue, we continue with the theme we introduced back in Vol. III No. 2, Gurdjieff’s first generation of pupils. In this issue we expand our coverage to include other pupils of this first generation. Those who have written for this issue—the pupils of this first generation—describe their teachers with candor and deep affection.

Ellen Reynard

“When it was their turn to pass on his Work after Mr. Gurdjieff died, many of his original pupils found their own voices, deepened their own understanding, and discovered their own way to live and to pass on Mr. Gurdjieff’s work.”

Jeanne de Salzmann
Pamela Travers

A conservatory trained pianist and student of Dalcroze, Jeanne de Salzmann (1889–1990) met Gurdjieff in 1919 and was his closest pupil until his death. She went on to lead and support the Gurdjieff Work in Paris, London, New York, and Caracas, with emphasis on the Movements.

Alexandre de Salzmann
Basarab Nicolescu

Born in Tiflis to a German family, Alexandre de Salzmann (1874–1934) along with his wife Jeanne, met Gurdjieff in Russia in 1916. Gurdjieff put to good use Alexandre’s talents in painting, lighting, staging, and interior design during the years that followed in France.

Light, Lighting and Illumination
Alexandre de Salzmann

An essay by Alexandre de Salzmann describing his work with theatre lighting. “Reverberating light, that is what we seek. Needless to say, such light must fill all the space at hand, including both the audience and the performers.”

Sophie Ouspensky
Irmis Popoff

Sophie Ouspensky (1878–1961) met Gurdjieff in Russia in 1913 and married P.D. Ouspensky in 1917. She led the work at Franklin Farms and was instrumental, along with Mme. de Salzmann, in bringing together the pupils of Ouspensky and Gurdjieff during the 1950s.

Jessmin Howarth
Sally Ravindra

After having studied with Dalcroze and served as choreographer for the Paris Opera, Jessmin Howarth (1893–1984) met Gurdjieff in 1922 and accompanied him to New York for the 1924 Movements demonstration. She then oversaw the Movements in New York for many years.

Olgivanna Wright
Maxine Fawcett-Yeske & Bruce B. Pfeiffer

Born in the Principality of Montenegro, Olgivanna Lloyd Wright (1898–1985) met Gurdjieff in the early 1920s. She moved to Chicago in 1924 where she met and married Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1932, they established the Taliesin Fellowship which Olgivanna directed after Frank’s death.

A Specially Prepared Feast
Diana Faidy

A dancer who lived in Chicago, Diana Faidy (1899–1983) met Gurdjieff when he visited the Chicago group in the 1930s. After Gurdjieff’s death, she became the pupil of Olgivanna Lloyd Wright. She wrote this account of Frank Lloyd Wright’s dinner with Gurdjieff.

Nathalie de Salzmann de Etievan
Isabel Portas

The daughter of Mme. de Salzmann, Nathalie de Salzmann (1919–2007) married Jacques Etievan and moved with him to Caracas Venezuela where she founded the Caracas group and raised their children. There she held many “Fifteen Days” work periods and established a school.

Jacques Etievan
Anne-Marie Grant

Born in France, Jacques Etievan (1920–1973), was the notetaker for the 1943 Paris Meetings with Gurdjieff. He then moved to Caracas, Venezuela where he headed up a large advertising firm. He married Nathalie de Salzmann and was a strong support for the formation of the group in Caracas.

Annette Herter
Larry Rosenthal

Born in France, Annette Herter moved to New York in 1924. In 1939 she founded “The American Conservatory of Music, Drama and Dance” which performed Varese’s Chorus at the World’s Fair. After meeting Gurdjieff, she played for the Movements in New York and at Franklin Farms.

Alfred Etievant
Ellen Reynard, Fredrica Parlett, Patty de Llosa

Three reminiscences of working in Movements classes led by Alfred Etievant (1918–1967). He met Gurdjieff during the German Occupation of Paris and, after the war, Gurdjieff sent him to London and New York to work with the Movements. Alfred then moved full-time to New York.

Ilonka Karasz Nyland
Paul Kane

Along with her husband Willem Nyland, Ilonka Karasz (1896–1981) met Mr. Gurdjieff in New York in 1924. They were group leaders at the New York Foundation. Ilonka was an accomplished designer and artist. One of her many accomplishments was creating 186 covers for The New Yorker Magazine.

Irmis Popoff
Juanita Ratner

Irmis Popoff (1900–1984) worked with P. D. Ouspensky and met Mr. Gurdjieff after Ouspensky’s death. She later worked with Mme. Ouspensky, Willem Nyland, and John Pentland. She led a large group at Pinnacle House in Sea Cliff, NY until her death in 1984.

Margaret (Peggy) Flinsch
Caty Laignel

Margaret Flinsch (1907–2010) met Mr. Gurdjieff in 1926 and spent time at the Prieuré. As a founding member of the New York Gurdjieff Foundation, she led groups, established the children’s work, and managed the archives. She founded the Blue Rock School in 1982.

Cynthia Pearce
James Ehlers

A British citizen, Cynthia Pearce (1900–1977) met Mr. Gurdjieff in Paris. She was an active member of the New York Gurdjieff Foundation where she organized the library and headed a group in traditional studies. She initiated the Gurdjieff Work in Philadelphia in 1967.

Tom Forman
Mary Rothschild

Tom Forman (1910–2001) met P. D. Ouspensky in his native England and followed him to the United States, where he met Mr. Gurdjieff. He was responsible for the preservation of the Gurdjieff / de Hartmann music, and led groups in New York, Philadelphia, and Cleveland.

Paul Reynard
Bill Jordan

Born in Lyon, France, Paul Reynard (1927–2005) met Mr. Gurdjieff in 1946. After moving to New York in 1968, he carried responsibility for the Movements in the US and Canada. He also served as Co-President of the Gurdjieff Foundation of New York.

About This Publication

The Gurdjieff International Review is published by Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing. Any information or opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or editors.


“After Gurdjieff’s death it became clear to everyone that only Mme. de Salzmann could now carry, and indeed had been designed by him to do so, the burden—and she made it a joyous burden—of the Work.”

Pamela Travers

“Alexandre de Salzmann was certainly an artist and extraordinary man, completely bohemian, a romantic, passionate, soulful poet of astonishing character, a man who lived only for art— but an art related to the meaning of life.”

Basarab Nicolescu

“I can still feel the sensation that crept along my spine when I heard Mme. Ouspensky approaching, her cane announcing her as she came closer and closer. Although small in stature, she loomed and towered above us all through the sheer strength and poise that radiated from her presence.”

Irmis Popoff

“Another thing that was uniquely hers was Nathalie de Salzmann’s relentless insistence of always including children and young people in her work sessions. Not only that, but she gave all manner of responsibilities in the Work to young adults, preparing them very early on for eventually taking over when the older people ‘retired’ or passed away.”

Isabel Portas

“The essential is to choose a specific anchor for one’s attention— to work more quickly, or move more slowly, or quietly than usual, to listen to the sound of one’s voice, to be open and aware of sounds, of odors. When washing up, kneading bread, patting clay— to sense one’s hands and be aware of facial expressions.”

Jessmin Howarth

“In a Movements class with Paul Reynard, we felt guidance not just from his words, but from his being. Sometimes we understood what he wished to convey just from the attention he turned toward us, felt his inner authority, and were glad to submit to it.”

Bill Jordan

Copyright © 2019
Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing

August 1, 2019