JOSEPH AMADEUS FLECK (1892 - 1977)
Joseph Amadeus Fleck was born in the village of Sziklos, in Austro-Hungary, in 1892. He studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule (Institute of Applied Arts) in Vienna, where he studied lithography, etching and engraving. Afterwards, he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna, where he studied under two teacher, Hans Tichi and Rudolph Bacher, who were members of the Austrian Succession Group that included Gustav Klimt.
World War came in 1914, and Fleck was drafted into the Army a year later and deployed to the Italian front. His artistic skills earned him an unofficial position as the regimental artist. Upon his return to Vienna after his first tour of duty, he was given a position painting patriotic images and portraits of notable government and military figures. There after, Fleck continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts. He eventually immigrated to the United States.
Fleck lived in Kansas City, Missouri, where he worked as the chief designer of Tiffany's stained-glass operation. He painted a number of portraits of important personages around Kansas City, including the mayor. In 1924, two years after arriving in Kansas City, Fleck was inspired by a show put on by the Taos Society of Artists in a gallery of Kansas City. He would move there one year later, and would live there full-time through 1973, excepting two painting trips to Europe and a three-year stint as Dean of Fine Arts at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
His painting style loosened from a fairly stiff and academic approach to something more impressionistic in nature. He painted landscapes, portraits and life scenes of the Indians of the region, using oil paints and pastels. He moved from Taos to Pleasanton, California in 1973, and died there four years later at the age of 85.