John Frank

Longtime Board Member Makes an Impact at Wright Museum

For more than 20 years, John Frank has worked behind the scenes at the Wright Museum in Wolfeboro as both a volunteer and board member, although he admits he was first somewhat reluctant. The museum’s founder, David Wright, however, proved most persuasive.

“I got to know David very well, and I became enamored with his vision for what this place could be,” he said. “He asked me to join the board in 2001 and I have served ever since.”

Frank’s role has been anything but one of mere consultation and advice, as current Board President Anne Blodget said he and his wife work closely with executive Director Mike Culver.

“Under the direction of Mike and along with his vision, John and Evelyn have played a meaningful role in the museum’s exhibits and direction through the years,” she said. “From the Time Tunnel and the curating of the Saturday Evening Post and Submarine Squalus exhibits to many other creative contributions, they are always on the quest for the best for the Wright.”

Expressing appreciation at the guidance provided by the entire board, Culver said Frank is currently working on curating an exhibit for 2019 entitled “Esquire Magazine – The WWII Years.”

“He is donating covers and prints from his own collection,” he said. “The subject matter is incredibly diverse and paints a unique portrait of America at a seminal time in our history.”

Frank said he is enthused at seeing the exhibit come together.

“While Esquire was primarily a men’s magazine, the 6 covers and various prints feature a wild and eclectic mix of subject areas ranging from culture and jazz of the day to fashion and even women, which was very unusual,” he said.

He noted they have selected prints that feature the work of well-known artists, photographers, cartoonists. Some of the cartoonists were female, too, which he noted was rare for that day and age. Landscape and war images represent just some of the subject matter that will be featured in the innovative 2019 exhibit.

In referencing the challenges associated with curating the exhibit, Frank said the primary difficulty is whittling down a collection of more than 200 covers and prints to 60 or 65.

“I think I bit off more than I could chew,” he laughed.

Noting Frank and his wife are also currently working on Gould’s 5 & 10 Store in the Home Front Gallery, Culver said their efforts represent “volunteerism at its best.”

“Most visitors do not know just how challenging it is to put an entire museum together,” he said. “John and Evelyn are a remarkable team.”

Blodget agreed and said the museum is fortunate to have “many committed people working collaboratively for the Wright.”

“From folks like John and Evelyn to staff and volunteers–it is truly a team effort,” she said.

“Esquire Magazine – The WWII Years” will first be shown from November through early March 2019 in Portsmouth at Two International Group, a long-time supporter of the Wright Museum. The exhibit will then be brought back to the Wright Museum and shown from May 1 to July 7, 2019.

In speaking on his belief in the museum’s mission, which he described as educating visitors on the importance of the “greatest generation,” Frank cited a very personal connection to this time period.

“I was a youngster during the greatest generation, and I remember collecting fat in my red wagon flyer to aid the war effort while older boys and girls collected scrap metal, which we brought to school on Fridays.” he said. “World War II was very real for me, and I think the museum brings the reality of the war effort to life for everyone, especially the younger generations.”

Culver agreed and added, “The Wright Museum helps people today understand the relevance of Word War II to current events and themes. It is a time period that will forever help to define our nation.”