Maggie Laubser was born Maria Magdalena Laubser on 14 April 1886. She died on 17 May 1973, with an unfinished canvas on her easel.
She studied art at school in Stellenbosch and then later in Cape Town before becoming a governess in Ermelo. She was on holiday when she met the Consul for Netherlands who offered to finance her studies abroad. She was studying in Holland at the outbreak of World War I, after which she went to London where she studied art throughout the war, returning to Europe after the war where she came into contact with German Expressionism.
She returned to South Africa at the end of 1924 where she worked and exhibited, not always to critical acclaim. She left at least 1784 individual works.
This is one of a series of articles about South African women for Women’s Month (August).