Gurdjieff, George

BORN c1866, Alexandropol - DIED 29 Oct 1949, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine: American Hospital
BIRTH NAME Gurdjieff, George Ivanovich
GRAVE LOCATION Avon, Seine-et-Marne: Cimetière

George Gurdjieff grew up in Kars which was Russian at the time. He claimed that he travelled to Central Asia, Egypt, Rome and other places before he returned to Russia in 1912. Perhaps these travels were sources for his teachings. Among his first students was the sculptor Sergey Merkurov. In St. Petersburg he married the Polish Julia Ostrowska. In 1915 P. D. Ouspensky became a pupil and in 1916 composer Thomas Hartman followed. He taught a complex system that he called the Fourth Way and was about reaching a higher state of consciousness.

In 1917 he left Russia and returned to his family in Alexandropol. After that he set up communities in differnet places to teach his students. In 1919 Alexandre de Salzman became a pupil as well. In the same year he demonstrated his Sacred Dances at the Tbilisi Opera House. In Tbilisi he worked on his ballet "The Struggle of the Magicians".

He demonstrated his work in Berlin, London and other cities. He founded the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in Avon near Paris. Katherine Mansfield died there when she was under his care. In 1924 he visited the USA. In the same year he had a serious car accident. His wife died of cancer in 1926. Although he was able to raise funds in the USA he had to close down his activities in Avon in 1932. He started a new teaching group in Paris that consisted of women only ans was called The Rope. He met Gertrude Stein but she didn't become one of his followers.

In 1936 he moved into an apartment at 6, Rue des Colonels-Renard in Paris. He continued to teach during the Second World War. After the war he was visited by several of his old pupils. In 1948 he had another car accident. He recovered, but he died in 1949.

Related persons
• knew Mansfield, Katherine
• met Stein, Gertrude


The grave of George Gurdjieff at the cemetery of Avon, Seine-et-Marne.
Picture by Androom (01 Nov 2019)


Gurlitt, Cornelia

Published: 13 May 2021
Last update: 13 May 2021