(1878-1960, Austro-Hungarian Empire)

Forgotten Masters presented by The Gallery of Everything

Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn was born in London 1881 to Dutch engineer and photographer, Albertus Kapteyn, and his wife, the philosophical anarchist Truus Muysken. 

In 1900 she moved to Zurich to major in History of Art at the School of Applied Arts, where she married Iwan Fröbe, a Croatian flutist and orchestra conductor. After her husband died in a plane crash, Fröbe-Kapteyn and her father travelled to the Mountain of Truth in the Swiss village of Ascona - an anarchist’s utopia, guided by laws of vegetarianism and nudism. From 1920 onwards, Ascona became her home.

It was here that 
Fröbe-Kapteyn created an informal centre called Eranos - a title suggested to her by historian of religions, Rudolf Otto. The Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, proposed she use Eranos as a meeting place between East and West, with symposia thematically poised to inspire interdisciplinary conversation. 

Fröbe-Kapteyn was devoted to finding images to illuminate each theosophical topic: Yoga and Meditation in East and West (1933), The Gestalt and Cult of the Great Mother (1938), The Hermetic Principle in Mythology, Gnosis, and Alchemy (1942), The Mysteries (1944), Spirit and Nature (1946) and Man and Time (1951).