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The iPad in 1930 something?

Marktstraße looking towards the Shiftkirche, iPad, 2012, Michael Liebhaber

I was commissioned by the Kaiserslautern Media Center to “update” old photos with a new look. Mr. Peter Turgetto made photographs all over southern Germany from the 1920s to his death in 1960. I selected several of Mr. Turgetto’s photos and painted the scenes on my iPad. My goal was to make it appear as if I was standing next to Mr. Turgetto, painting, while he took the photograph.

I had a big problem when I began the project. The photos are black and white, but what were the original colors? Some of the buildings that are still standing have been remodeled, parts of the present-day Shiftskirche (Collegiate Church) fountain are different from the one in the photograph (thankfully part of the original is in a city museum), and the Synagogue is gone (colors of a model built by the University in Darmstadt are only a best guess; no one is alive who remembers the exact colors).

So what did I do? I looked at current architectural styles, some old colorized postcards, and any other photographic resource I could find. After much study, I gave it my best guess. An example is my painting above. It is from a photo taken along Marktstraße (Market Street), looking towards the Shiftskirche (spire is on the right in the distance). No one today knows the colors of the store awnings or the flags or even if it was a holiday. But here is my drawing, as I stood next to Mr. Turgetto, some 70 years later.

Photograph of Marktstraße looking towards Shiftkirche by Peter Turgetto. Date unknown (ca. 1930s-40s)


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