Artist David Haack Dies

Carolyn Croke and Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

david-haack-tRINGWOOD, N.J. — David Haack, OFM, 70, a professed Franciscan friar for 34 years, died on July 20 at Holy Name Friary.

A wake will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. on July 25, at St. Bonaventure University Chapel in Allegany, N.Y. It will be followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. with Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, as principal celebrant. Burial will take place at St. Bonaventure Cemetery in Allegany.

Early Years
David was born in Kewaunee, Wis., on April 18, 1946, to Edward and Eileen Haack. After graduating from Sheboygan Falls High School in 1964, he moved to Boston to pursue higher education and work experience in the fields of music and communications.

David was received into the Franciscan Order on June 12, 1981, in Bronx, N.Y., and professed his first vows in Brookline, Mass., the following year. He earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., in 1982, and went on to complete a master of fine arts from the Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C., in 1985. For the next two years, he taught art and music in grammar schools in Wanaque, N.J., and Silver Spring, Md. He professed solemn vows as a Franciscan friar on June 20, 1987, in New York City.

David’s first assignment in 1987 was as an art teacher at Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y. He developed the fine arts program during the three years he spent there.

In 1990, David was assigned to St. Bonaventure University, where he remained for the next 26 years. Starting out as assistant professor, he went on to become associate professor and then chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. He also taught graduate level courses in the university’s Franciscan Institute. His areas of interest included Franciscan studio, spirituality of art, painting, drawing, two-dimensional design, ancient civilizations, and contemporary issues in art. He became teacher-curator at the university in 1994. In 1999, he completed a master’s degree in philosophy and a doctorate in art history from Syracuse, N.Y., University.

In addition to being an instructor of art, David was a professional artist, having painted a number of commissioned works. He had solo exhibits at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., St. Francis College, Fort Wayne, Ind., and the Washington Theological Union, Silver Spring, Md., among others. His work is also in private collections in Rome, Dublin, and other locations overseas, as well as across the United States. He was also an accomplished vocalist and often led music at community and parish liturgies.

In 2013, David retired from teaching while continuing to live at St. Bonaventure. That same year, the Haack Studiolo, a site for meditation and study of painting, as well as a business to promote Franciscan and secular themed paintings, opened on campus. The Studiolo’s Ministry of the Image offers exhibits and gallery talks on Franciscan art and history to parishes, schools, and other venues.

David is survived by a brother, Charles Haack of Fredonia, Wis., and a sister, Ricarda Haack of Cedar Grove, Wis.

Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars — Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001-3202.

— Compiled by Carolyn Croke and Jocelyn Thomas

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