Kerry Temple '74 | September 16, 2015
Frederick Franck was an extraordinary man — an oral surgeon, sculptor, author of more than 30 books and an artist with work in the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney. He served with the humanitarian doctor Albert Schweitzer for three years and was deeply invested in Buddhism and spirituality. Born in the Netherlands in 1909, he moved to the United States in 1939, and one fall day in 1962 he embarked on an extraordinary plan — but it wasn’t really a plan at all.
Franck, then in his early 50s, was reading The New York Times and came across Pope John XXIII’s opening address for the Second Vatican Council. So moved was he by that text that he felt an overpowering impulse to draw the affair. So irresistible was that calling that he dropped everything and immediately flew to Rome.
Franck, not Catholic, would become the only artist to attend all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council, capturing in lively pencil and ink sketches the settings, scenes and religious leaders who participated in that watershed convocation that dramatically altered Catholic life.
Read more at Notre Dame Magazine.