"Reverend Staerkel and the Norka Service"

by Michael Boss

Casein and Gouache on Rag Board

18" X 20"

From the collection of Blackwell Properties, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio

After seeing photographs of the Norka Reformed Church interior, it was given that a painting of a church service had to be rendered. By a bit of luck, Steve Schreiber (webmaster for www.volgagermans.net) introduced Reuben (Ben) Bauer of Canada to me. What a stroke of luck! Ben's parents and grandparents attended the Norka church. They related a great deal of information.

Reuben and I sparred a bit on details, but he was a guiding star all of the way through, including matters like the Chorleiter using a tuning fork to sound the proper pitch before singing a hymn; or knowing the organ was built in South Tyrol. And to think, this church was constructed entirely of wood!