Born in the village of Sziklos, Austria-Hungary, in 1892, Joseph Amadeus Fleck attended the Vienna Royal Academy, where he studied lithography and engraving. While serving in the army during the war, he was the unofficial artist of his regiment, and he spent the rest of the war years painting military heroes and government officials. In 1919, he completed his art training at the Vienna Royal Academy.
After immigrating to the United States in 1922, Fleck found work at Tiffany & Company’s stained glass studios, where he advanced to the position of chief designer. His foundation in portraiture allowed him to continue to paint privately.
In 1924, Fleck was introduced to paintings of the Southwest while attending an exhibition showcasing the works of the Taos Society of Artists. That summer he traveled to Taos, returning the next year with a new bride to settle there permanently. He also spent three years in Kansas City as Dean of Fine Arts at the University of Missouri.
Fleck’s awards include bronze and silver medals from the Kansas City Art Institute and the Morris Rosenwald prize of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1927.
Although Joseph Fleck spent fifty years in the United States, the classical training he received as a young man in Austria had a profound and lasting influence on his artistic style throughout his career. Nonetheless, his impressionistic paintings of the Southwest celebrate the beauty of the American landscape.