Life in Austria
Gertrude Froeschel was born in Vienna, Austria in 1908. She commenced study in the History of Art at Vienna University in 1926 being taught by Professor Josef Strzygowski and later attended lectures by Henri Focillon at the Sorbonne. In 1932 she married a fellow student Karl Langer graduating the following year on the same night as he with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Art History. In 1938 with the annexation of Austria by the Third Reich, Gertrude who was Jewish, and Karl left Vienna and travelled via Athens to Australia.
Life in Australia
Karl and Gertrude arrived in Sydney in May 1939 proceeding to Brisbane in July so that Karl could commence work for architects Cook and Kerrison. From the time of their arrival until their deaths the Langers dedicated themselves to a great variety of civic and professional activities. Their combined efforts greatly influenced the development of the arts and design in Queensland especially through such organisations as the Queensland Art Gallery Society, the Australian Council for the Arts and the Vacation Schools of Creative Art in which they fulfilled key roles over many years.
Gertrude was the art critic for The Courier Mail from 1953 until her death, her last review being published on the day she died, 19 September 1984. She was a foundation member of the International Association of Art Critics and was president of the Association's Australian Division from 1975 to 1978. Through her work with the Gallery Society and her personal donations of art works including drawings by Karl she exerted her influence on the collection of the Queensland Art Gallery.
Her works included a book of poems for her late husband Karl:
- Langer, Gertrude; Langer Memorial Committee (1987), Love transcends death : poems for my beloved Karl, Langer Memorial Committee, ISBN 978-0-7316-0241-4
- Queensland Art Gallery (1985), In memory of Dr Gertrude Langer O. B. E 1908-84, Queensland Art Gallery