"Whether Frederick Franck is working in brush and ink, in steel, in stone, or in the written word, he is always uncovering sacred space, always in search of the place where things are at home being just what they are, and where we may join them if only we can get over our everyday selves. Everything he makes, every book he writes is meant to be a finger pointing away from itself and in that direction.”
Prof. James W. Heisig, Director of the Institute for Religion and Culture at the Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan:
Frederick Franck was born April 12, 1909 in Maastricht, The Netherlands – and died on June 5, 2006 in Warwick, New York. A painter, sculptor, and author of over 35 books on life, art, and transreligious thought, he was known for his interest in human spirituality.
As a boy Franck watched the First World War break out in neighboring Belgium. The streams of refugees that crossed under his bedroom window awakened in him a life long hatred of warfare. An artist by nature, his training as a dental surgeon gave him the opportunity to work with Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Lambarene (Gabon, Africa) where he set up a dental surgery clinic at the Schweitzer hospital.
Raised an agnostic in the Catholic south of Holland; a lifelong student of Zen Buddhism, he also recognized in John the XXIII a man of immense Human stature. In the dark night of the Cuban Missile Crisis he was inspired to go to Rome in 1963 to draw all the sessions of the Second Vatican Council.
Upon his return to Warwick, Franck, with his wife Claske, transformed the ruin of a watermill across the river from his Warwick NY home into Pacem in Terris - a transreligious Oasis. He dedicated it to Pope John XXIII, Albert Schweitzer and D.T. Suzuki, the Catholic pope, the Protestant doctor, the Buddhist sage he felt to be his mentors. The old mill and the grounds of the house - filled with the sculpture he referred to as 'Icons,' are open to the public during late spring through early fall. No admission is charged.
A selection of his drawings, and for Franck drawing was a meditative technique which he described in his best known book, The Zen of Seeing, can be seen in the Boyle Gallery while more paintings can be seen in the Joyful Gallery, both on the grounds.
His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Fogg Art Museum, the Tokyo National Museum, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
NEW! Images from the University of Notre Dame exhibition of Frederick Franck's drawings of the Second Vatican Council are available on this website, with insightful commentary by Catherine Osborne Ph.D https://collections.library.nd.edu/ed3192be75/outsider-at-the-vatican
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Various images from the Pacem in Terris Museum
by Frederick Franck
Franck wrote more than 30 books.
His classic' The Zen of Seeing' is
going strong with over 300,000
copies in print. Books are available
at our Pacem in Terris bookstore,
and via this link: