Robin Larsen is a graphic artist, maker of assemblages and masks, small bronze figures, and giant puppets, and an art historian specializing in comparative iconography and ritual art. Her artwork is exhibited regularly in juried and invitational shows and is included in private and institutional collections and in books and journals.

Robin and husband Stephen Larsen (who has written poems about her works) have been writing, teaching, and giving workshops together in the United States and internationally since the 1970's. Their travels have taken them throughout the US and Canada, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, Japan, Egypt, and South Africa. The focus of their work is on personal and comparative mythology, shamanism, relationship, dream work, and the creative imagination, which they explore through the medium of their own male-female dialogue.

From 1982 to 1990 Robin was engaged in establishing and accessing the Swedenborg Image Archive for the Swedenborg Foundation in NYC; she served as Editor-in-Chief of Emanuel Swedenborg: A Continuing Vision, a large-format, 558 page illustrated biography and anthology (Swedenborg Foundation 1988). Stephen served on the board of directors of the Swedenborg Foundation; both Larsens have served on the board of the Joseph Campbell Foundation.

For more than twenty years they were students and friends of the late mythologist Joseph Campbell, and they co-authored his biography, A Fire in the Mind (Doubleday 1991, and Inner Traditions 2002) as well as The Fashioning of Angels (Chrysalis 2000). Stephen is the author of numerous books, papers, introductions, and collaborations, among them The Shaman’s Doorway (Harper and Row 1976, Station Hill 1988, and Inner Traditions 1999 — still in print after 26 years); The Mythic Imagination (Bantam 1990, Inner Traditions 1998); and The Healing Power of Neurofeedback: The Revolutionary LENS Technique for Restoring Optimal Brain Function (Healing Arts Press 2005). They are currently working together on An Alchemical Angel, a book of her artwork and his poetry.

The Larsens are founders and co-directors of the Center for Symbolic Studies, a not-for-profit seminar center in the Hudson Valley of New York. Robin directs the performance and festivals programs and the outdoor adventure programs for youth; Stephen is director of Stone Mountain Center, which provides psychotherapy and biofeedback/neurofeedback, specializing in disorders of the nervous system.

Robin Larsen’s educational background includes training as a museum assistant at a nature museum, where she studied comparative anatomy under Lee Settlemyre through life-drawing and dissection, sometimes of rare species (such as Rhesus monkeys); early training in traditional painting methods and materials ("...we ground our pigments, carefully punctured egg-yolks, applied fifteen sanded coats of gesso made from calcium carbonate, zinc, and animal-skin glue..."); and immersion, in the late fifties, in the Abstract Expressionist School of New York. Among her teachers were painter Hale Woodruff and Bob Blackburn of the Printmakers Workshop.

In 1965 she completed an MA degree at NYU, in Art Education: Artist-Teachers in Colleges and Art Schools, where she studied art history with orientalist John Bryzostoski and modernist Irving Sandler. After 1970, she studied photo-printmaking methods with the Women's Studio Workshop, in Rosendale, NY.

In 1977, she received her Ph.D. in Art as Ritual, from the Union Graduate School; she did fieldwork on mandalic form in ritual art (including masked-dance and temple architecture) in India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Her doctoral committee included Professor Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, The Masks of God, (4 vols), and The Mythic Image, among others in a well-known list; and Dr. Francis V. O'Connor, co-author of the 4-vol compendium of Jackson Pollock's artwork, published by Princeton Press; and Dr. Roger Ortmayer; consultant to the committee for the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem. She also studied Guided Imagery with Music with Dr. Helen Bonney; and the therapeutic use of mandala imagery with Joan Kellogg, MA, ATR.

Contact: symbolicstudies[AT]

Website: or
Center for Symbolic Studies, 845-658-8540
Stone Mountain Center, 845-658-8083