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. 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.