Frank Joseph Fryzek (1880-1961), Muralist
Frank Joseph Fryzek was born on April 5, 1880 in Cesky Brod, Czechoslovakia. He was an apprentice under master painter F. Fonitan around 1900, where he learned the trade of mixing colors, stippling, and stenciling. He became a "master painter" after over three years of this education. In 1994, he immigrated to America and moved to Omaha with his brother's family. He soon moved even further into Nebraska, settling in Ord. In 1910 Fryzek married Bessie Fier, and together they had two daughters and five sons. He began working as a hired man on a farm in Ord, but soon his painting and decorating profession emerged. He worked as muralist and painter in Ord for over 50 years. Frank Fryzek continued to paint for four years after he had a major stroke in 1952, and retired from painting in 1956. He still painted and redecorated the family home in 1960 at the age of 80. Three of his five sons pursued careers in painting. Frank Joseph Fryzek died on March 17, 1961 in Ord, Nebraska.
Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings
Educational & Professional Associations
1900-1994: painting apprentice, F. Fonitan, Master Painter, Cesky Brod, Czechoslovakia.
1904: Frank Joseph Fryzek, Master Painter, Cesky Brod, Czechoslovakia.
1904-1929: farmer, 10 miles west and 2.5 miles S of Ord, Nebraska.
1905-1956: Frank Joseph Fryzek, Muralist and Master Painter, Ord, Nebraska.
Buildings & Projects
Curtain & walls, Meadowlands ZCBJ Lodge National Hall (1929-1930), Meadowlands, Minnesota.[f]
Touch-up of curtain, ZCBJ Lodge Slavín #112 National Hall (1941), Comstock, Nebraska.
Kitchen, Home of Lew & Emma Bilka (1950), 81671 477th Ave., Burwell, Nebraska.
Frank Fryzek Family Home (1960), S 16th St., Ord, Nebraska.
Valley County Courthouse (n.d.), 125 S 15th St., Ord, Nebraska.
Floor and Stairway Walls, Valley County Museum (n.d.), Ord, Nebraska.
Ptacnik Home (n.d.), near Ord, Nebraska.
George Zikmund Home (n.d.), near Ord, Nebraska.
Aagard Home (n.d.), near Ord, Nebraska.
Honors & Awards
a. Fryzek's work on the Bohemian Hall included painting "with oils the stage curtain and flats" and painting "murals and castles from his homeland, the Nebraska State Capitol, and the United States Capitol on the walls of the Lodge."
b. Fryzek's work on the National Hall included painting "the heavy canvas front stage curtain" using "green, blue, red, and blue" with the focal point being "the Prague Castle of Hradcany surrounded by advertisements for 40 local businesses of the time." He also "painted four flats depicting two inside scenes, a city street, and a forest with mountains." He also "stenciled, stippled, and painted castles on the interior walls."
c. Fryzek's work on the Jungman Hall was very similar to that of the National Hall. He painted the heavy canvas front stage curtain with the Prague Castle of Hradcany surrounded by advertisements for 39 local businesses of the time.
d. Fryzek's painting on this house "showcased Angels at the top of each wall."
e. Fryzek's painting on this house "displays four water scenes...at each corner of the living room."
f. Fryzek painted a similar curtain to the National Hall and the Jungman Hall on the Meadowlands National Hall; a castle in the center with 27 business advertisements around it.
g. In the Courthouse, Fryzek and his son George "stippled and stenciled in tints of gray".
1. Deborah Fryzek Andrews, Frank Joseph Fryzek: April 5, 1880-March 17, 1961, in NSHS file.
Lydia Allen & David Murphy, “Frank Joseph Fryzek (1880-1961), Muralist,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, November 14, 2018. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, April 3, 2020.
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