Langer, Gertrude, 1908-1984

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Authorized form of name

Langer, Gertrude, 1908-1984

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Other form(s) of name

  • Langer, Gerty
  • Froschel, Gertrud, 1908-1984
  • Fröschel, Gertrud, 1908-1984
  • Freschl, Gertrude
  • Froschel, Gerda

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Gertrude Langer (nee Fröschel, until the late 1920s also Freschl) was born on 1 July 1908 in Vienna, the daughter of Alois Freschl and Channa / Anna Fröschel, neé Brill. Her father was manager of Leo Brill & Co., his brother-in-law’s company of garment manufacturers.
From 1926 Gertrude studied Art History at Vienna University, being taught by Professor Josef Strzygowski. In 1928 she also attended lectures by Henri Focillon at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1933 she graduated Doctor of Philosophy in Art History.
In 1932 she had married fellow student Karl Langer. Following the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938 the Langers migrated to Australia via Greece. They arrived in Sydney in May 1939 and came to Brisbane in July 1939. Karl Langer commenced work for architects Cook and Kerrison. The Langers became Australian citizens in 1946.
Soon after arriving in Brisbane Gertrude Langer established herself as a private art history lecturer and critic, giving lectures in her own home from 1940 and later at libraries, clubs and societies. She was the Courier Mail’s art critic from 1953 until her death in 1984. The Langers were members of the Queensland Art Gallery Society and the Australian Council for the Arts, organisations in which they filled key roles over many years. Gertrude Langer also conducted Creative Arts vacation schools at the University of Queensland from 1962 to 1977. 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 artworks, she exerted her influence on the collection of the Queensland Art Gallery.
Gertrude Langer died on 19 September 1984, after having been widowed 15 years earlier. She had been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1968 for services to the Arts.


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AU NLA 36043058

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Revised, FF, 08-Jun-2020




Nancy D.H. Underhill (2012). 'Langer, Gertrude (1908-1984)' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, accessed online 08-Jun-2020.
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Revised with other forms of name, authority record identifier and sources, FF, 08-Jun-2020.

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