Outsider at the Vatican

Author: Alexandra Schaufele

Frederick Franck

Outsider at the Vatican: Frederick Franck's Drawings from the Second Vatican Council is an exhibit sponsored by the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism and the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture featuring works on paper from Pacem in Terris: The Frederick Franck Museum and the Catholic Documentation Center, Radboud University Nijmegen.

The exhibition will run from August 1-September 30, 2015 at the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture (NDCAC) on 1045 W. Washington St., South Bend. The gallery hours will be Tuesday - Friday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM & Sunday 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM. There will be a reception & gallery talk from 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM on September 9, 2015 at the NDCAC.

Updates and more information will be available here in the coming months. Say tuned!

Frederick Franck (1909-2006) was born in Holland. Although raised an agnostic, he was profoundly interested in human spirituality, becoming a devotee of Pope John XXIII and a lifelong student of Zen Buddhism. Franck was a prolific writer and artist, publishing more than 30 books of reflections and drawings and creating thousands of original works, some of which are in major museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum. Deeply moved by news of the Second Vatican Council, Franck decided to return to Europe. He attended all four Council sessions, sketchbook and pen in hand, and produced around 300 drawings, primarily in pen and ink, supplemented by watercolor. Franck's subjects, sketched from life, include portraits of most of the major Council dignitaries (John XXIII, Paul VI, cardinals, bishops from around the world, theologians, and ecumenical observers) as well as representative scenes of life at the Council. Franck's work, more intimate than any photographs, is an invaluable record of the emotional experience of the Council.

The University of Notre Dame will host approximately 60 of these drawings during August and September 2015. This exhibit, featuring works loaned by Pacem in Terris, the museum in Warwick, NY, devoted to Franck's memory, and the Unversity of Nijmegen, which received a major donation of drawings from Franck several years before his death, represents a unique opportunity to see selections from both collections. On the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of Vatican II, this exhibit will honor the memory of those critical years in Rome.

Sponsored by The Nanovic Institute for European Studies//The Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts//Office of the President//Hesburgh Libraries//The Institute for Church Life//The Notre Dame Center for Liturgy//The Notre Dame Forum


Image Credit: Frederick Franck, "Opening Session of Vatican II Third Session," (September 1964.) Courtesy Catholic Documentation Center Radboud University, Nijmegen.