May 27, 2024

Sculpture by Frederick Franck back

HIROSHIMA: The Unkillable Human

After I saw in Hiroshima, burned into a concrete wall, a human shadow the moment the Bomb struck, I was haunted by it.

Returned home I took a steel plate, and with a blowtorch cut out the contour of this volatilized fellow human. When the outline was complete the human form dropped out, leaving a gaping hole surrounded by frames of steel.

I placed both components so that through the empty negative the HUMAN IMAGE can be seen rising, like a phoenix from its ashes: 


This contemporary Resurrection had to take form in steel. For neither wood nor stone are the stuff of our age. It is steel that harnesses our murderous follies which threaten our and Earth’s survival.


Dedicated to the victims of the anti-human in our time:
Auschwitz, Chile, Argentina, El Salvador and all over the world.

                                                                                      ~Frederick Franck

Hiroshima was a gift to The Church of the Saviour from Dr. Rustum Roy at Penn State. One of the world’s most distinguished materials scientists, he was also very active in ecumenical religious life for over 60 years, serving on the Executive Committee of the National Council of Churches. He was the friend and colleague of many religious leaders including John Shelby Spong, Sister Joan Chittister and Reverend Gordon Cosby. As a promoter of art and the field of art and science, he was responsible for bringing the works of artists to Penn State, including the art of Fredrick Franck. Dr. Roy died in 2010. 

The sculpture is located on the road to Dayspring Silent Retreat. Franck's sculpture can also be seen at Genesis Farm in Blairstown, NJ, an Earth Literacy center with a long-time connection to Dayspring's Earth Ministry. Genesis Farm is a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, NJ, who have a passion for contemplation and a commitment to study, live, and teach the mysteries of the universe and the sacredness of all creation.