Dr Gertrude Langer arrived quite by chance in Brisbane in 1939 as a refugee from Hitler's Europe. She was a young, elegant Austrian refugee with a PhD in art history from the University of Vienna. After arriving in Australia, Gertrude and her husband, Dr Karl Langer, had hoped to settle in Sydney, but Karl's work as an architect moved them on to Brisbane. Gertrude Langer would become an important figure in Brisbane's post-war art scene through her salon-style lectures, art criticism and work with the Australia Council. She strongly believed that the arts were an important part of a community, and for this reason became a champion for the cause of contemporary art in Brisbane.