Mrs. March was born Louise Goepfert in Switzerland in 1900. She spent most of her childhood in Germany, and studied art history at Berlin University. After coming to the United States as a graduate exchange student in 1926, she joined the faculty of the art department at Hunter College in Manhattan.
During her first years in New York, she met the renowned photographer Alfred Stieglitz and the painter Georgia O'Keeffe (who would become a lifelong friend). With their help, she took a job as manager of the Opportunity Gallery in Manhattan, and became established within a circle of artists, writers, and society people in New Yorks cultural scene.
One evening in early 1929, she was invited to the studios of Carnegie Hall, where G. I. Gurdjieff was hosting a recital of piano music composed with his pupil, Thomas de Hartmann. Her encounter with Gurdjieff, followed by subsequent meetings during the weeks of his stay in New York, proved to be a turning point. By late spring, at Gurdjieff's invitation, she traveled across the Atlantic to live and study at the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in Fontainebleau, France.
During this period, on a daily basis, Gurdjieff was immersed in the writing and revision of his seminal work, All and Everything: Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson. In addition to serving as his secretary, Miss Goepfert was given the task of translating Gurdjieff's writings into German and preparing them for publication - roles she undertook with unflagging dedication and exactness.
Her close relationship with Gurdjieff would continue until his death in October, 1949. read more below >>
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After Gurdjieff closed the Chateau de Prieuré, Louise Goepfert remained in Europe. In 1933, she married Walter March, a German architect she had met in New York several years earlier. The two settled in Berlin until 1936, when sensing the impending psychosis of war, they relocated to the United States. By 1939, the Marches had purchased property in Bloomingburg, New York, where they raised five children, operated a full-time working dairy farm, and maintained close contact with a small circle of Gurdjieff's American pupils.
In 1957, Mrs. March began to visit Rochester, New York, where a handful of people interested in the ideas of Gurdjieff had been gathering. Under her direction, the group solidified its aim to explore man's inner development, applying Gurdjieff's ideas with practical emphasis on craftmaking and physical work activities. This marked the beginnings of the Rochester Folk Art Guild.
In 1967, Mrs. March and her pupils established a permanent home for the Guild at the 300-acre East Hill Farm in Middlesex, 45 miles south of Rochester in New York State's Finger Lakes Region. Disciplined work in crafts and agriculture became a way of life for community members, many of whom started their own families at the Farm. Residences, craft shops and a Movements hall were designed and built with Mrs. March's background in architecture and design a primary influence.
Mrs. March directed the activities of the Rochester Folk Art Guild and lived there until her death in 1987. Under her guidance the Guild grew to become a nationally recognized center for fine quality craftsmanship with work in museums, galleries and private collections throughout the United States and abroad.
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