Dutch-born artist Frederick Franck created Pacem in Terris over his lifetime and has made the grounds of his home public for the past 40 years. On weekends visitors are free to wander along the brook, visit the “transreligious chapel,” and walk the spiral labyrinth cut in the overgrown lawn.
Franck’s art reflects both a meditative calm and harmony as well as a harsher truth of disharmony, war and violence; all with an eye to a more peaceful existence. Franck used metal, glass, wood and found objects to create his sculptures which live in three sections on his property. Visitors might be moved by Franck’s call for peace in times of war, enjoy his whimsical art, and/or enjoy the pretty natural surroundings.
Two kinds of artwork dominate the scene at Pacem in Terris (Latin: Peace on Earth)—the sculpture of Dutch-born artist Frederick Franck and the undeniable beauty of the natural world.
Tucked away in the shade on a quiet road by the shores of the Wawayanda River in Warwick, New York, Pacem in Terris can be described as a religious sanctuary, an artist’s haven, and a place to connect—or disconnect—from the workings of the mind. Whether you’re seeking an inner stillness or searching for a new spark, Pacem in Terris is the place to start.
A multidimensional man, Franck was trained as a dental surgeon before his love for art pushed him to produce more than 35 books, as well as paintings and sculpture that would be displayed around the globe. Franck also expressed an enthusiasm for human spirituality. Rather than dedicate his soul to one doctrine, he embraced teachings from a variety of religious leaders. His spiritual bent can easily be gleaned from the sculptural themes present at Pacem in Terris—eyes, faces, hands, and other parts of the human form appear on the grounds, seeming like bits of fractured souls resting in an earthly oasis.
Know Before You Go
The grounds at Pacem in Terris are teeming with original outdoor sculpture (which Franck called “icons”) for visitors to view. Pacem in Terris is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekends and holiday from May through September. Admission is free.
-Make sure to visit the art-filled field located across the train tracks, kitty-corner to the chapel.
-In autumn watch out for falling walnuts!
-Take a moment to play Poohsticks on the bridge spanning the two sides of the property.