Jeanne de Salzmann

January 26, 1889 – May 24, 1990

Jeanne de Salzmann often addressed as Madame de Salzmann  was the daughter of the famous Swiss architect Jules Louis Allemand and of Marie Louise Matignon. She began her career at the Conservatory of Geneva, studying piano. From 1912 she became a student of Émile Jaques-Dalcroze in Germany and taught dance and rhythmic movements. She met her husband Alexandre de Salzmann in Hellerau at Dalcroze’s Institute. They married on September 6 in Geneva. The First World War caused the closure of Dalcroze’s Institute and Jeanne and her husband Alexandre moved to Tiflis, Georgia where she continued to teach.

In 1919, Thomas de Hartmann introduced the de Salzmanns to George Gurdjieff, a relationship that would last until Gurdjieff’s death in 1949. She worked with Gurdjieff for nearly 30 years. Following Gurdjieff’s death, she led the Gurdjieff Institute of Paris and continued Gurdjieff’s teachings, emphasizing work with the Movements.

Before he died Gurdjieff charged Mme. de Salzmann to live to be “over 100” in order to establish his teaching. He left her all his rights with respect to his writings and dance exercises called the “Movements.” During the next forty years, she arranged for publication of his books and preservation of the Movements, and established Gurdjieff centers to practice the teaching in Paris, New York, and London, as well as Caracas, Venezuela.

Jeanne de Salzmann played a major role in realizing the 1977 movie “Meetings with Remarkable Men” by Peter Brook.

Mme. de Salzmann died at the age of 101 in Paris in 1990. She was buried at Cimetière de Plainpalais in Geneva.

After her death, her son Michel de Salzmann (1923-2001) took over the leadership of the organization and a book, The Reality of Being, was made, faithful to the notebooks she kept for 40 years, witnessing her work and teaching after Gurdjieff died.

[Details courtesy of Wikipedia]