In the year 1907, Karl Max Kessler founded a photographic studio and laboratory in the Austrian valley called Kleinwalsertal. Until the 1960’s, he documented the beauty of the mountains and the people living and working there. This accumulated to a photographic archive consisting of nearly 10,000 negatives. During his work as a photographer, Kessler decided to produce postcards using the pictures he made. Those postcards spread over the whole continent, establishing the Kleinwalsertal as a popular place for winter tourism.
In the post-war period, Kessler focused on the laboratory aspect of his studio. The „Fotolabor Kessler“ (translating to „Photographic Laboratory Kessler“) was so successful in the valley that Kessler launched a second laboratory location in Linz. This location worked together with „Karstadt“ and „Foto Quelle“. In 1995, Foto Quelle took over Kessler’s laboratory.
Twenty years, in the 1980’s, after Kessler stopped to take pictures actively, the stored negatives were struck by a fire. This tragic event damaged a part of the archive. Unfortunately, the storage room was not an ideal place for preserving the negatives. These circumstances led to the bad state of the pictures and therefore to the necessity to restore them properly.