GERTRUDE STÖHR was born in Vienna in 1915, and is a descendant of the Forstinger-Stöhr family who settled in Vorchdorf in 1803, owners of the brewery and EGGENBERG estate. She spent her youth in the remodeled, former Eggenberg Castle, enjoyed an excellent upbringing and had early access to painting. She lived in Vienna for many years and kept a studio in the 3rd District, Weyrgasse 8. The personal relationship of her family with the Linz artist Professor Vilma Eckl enabled her to strengthen her inspirations to express her abilities in enamel work. One can see her development in Studies made by Professors Franz Cizek, Albert Paris-Gütersloh, Lore Zanoska, etc. She graduated from the University for Applied Art in Vienna. World-wide travels which brought her to all corners of the earth, formed a talented artist. Her exhibitions in the whole world caused a big sensation. In her creations, mainly dedicated to religious work, she combined “künstlerische Selbstzucht, handwerkliche Gewissenhaftigkeit und innerlich verwurzelte Frömmigkeit” (F.Knaipp) (artistic self-discipline, artistic conscientiousness and spiritually deep-rooted piety.) These qualities enabled her to produce exceptionally beautiful and precious church artefacts. Her reputation spread quickly. She had orders not only from Austrian Monasteries, Bishops and parishes, but also from the U.S.A. For example, Nevada, Oregon … ordered chalices, crosses, baptismal fonts, ciboriums, candlesticks, Mass cups, home and travel altars, as well as a crozier. In Austria, we find precious church pieces in Vorarlberg, Lower and Upper Austria - Marul, Hohenems, Bregenz, Buchs, Wiener-Neudorf, Giesshübel near Mödling, Linz, Kremsmünster, Scharnstein and elsewhere. Kremsmünster possesses a relic made by her. The prelate chalice from the Admont Benedictine Foundation, a Bible binding in the possession of the Federal Ministry for Education, Vienna, in cloisonné enamel and silver with semi-precious stones, are truly fine examples of her art. We must not forget to mention her work in copper - the door to the Unterkirche St. Berthold, Scharnstein, Upper Austria, the Castle chapel Eggenberg, burial sites at the local Vorchdorf cemetery and the Vorchdorf local history museum. Housed in the Fischer tower, once a valiant cornerstone in the remaining renaissance Hochhaus Castle, exclusive valuable pieces are displayed, hand-made by Gertrude Stöhr - more than 220 unicums - which are open to the public. There is hardly anywhere else where one finds so many examples of her techniques in enamel -“Steg-Email”, “Zellenschmelz”, fusion painting, cloisonné, limoge, often in connection with precious goldsmith work, in overwhelming amounts, beautiful forms and intense colours.
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