Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1922-08-15
Death 2000-06-03
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Sculptor and graphic artist; Leeds, Mass. and Devon, England. b. 1922, in New Brunswick, N.J. d. Northampton, Mass., June 3, 2000, age 77.

Worked on FDR memorial in Washington, DC. Studied at Yale Univ. Founded the Gehenna Press in 1942. Taught at Smith College, in Northampton, MA, 1953-1974, and Hampshire College, in Amherst, MA, 1984-1994.

From the description of Oral history interview with Leonard Baskin, 1969 Apr. 17. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 220184585

Leonard Baskin (1922-2000) was a sculptor and graphic artist from Leeds, Mass. and Devon, England.

Baskin was born 1922, in New Brunswick, N.J. and died Northampton, Mass., June 3, 2000, age 77. Worked on FDR memorial in Washington, DC. Studied at Yale Univ. Founded the Gehenna Press in 1942. Taught at Smith College, in Northampton, MA, 1953-1974, and Hampshire College, in Amherst, MA, 1984-1994.

From the description of Oral history interview with Leonard Baskin, 1969 Apr. 17 [sound recording]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 495595114

Baskin was an American sculptor, artist, writer and teacher who worked collaboratively with Ted Hughes on a number of different projects including Hughes's Crow poetry. Baskin founded Gehenna Press whilst he was a student at Yale.

Although Baskin spent most of his life living in the USA he and his second wife, Lisa lived in Devon for nine years. Baskin's work can be seen in many art galleries and museums around the world including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the British Museum in London.

Epithet: artist and sculptor

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001186.0x00032d

Leonard Baskin was born in 1922 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and brought up in Brooklyn. He had his first exhibition of sculpture in New York at the age of seventeen and went on to study at Yale University followed by the New School for Social Research between 1941 and 1949. In 1953 he began teaching printmaking and sculpture at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he remained until 1974. He moved to Lurley, Tiverton, Devon in 1974 close to his friend, Ted Hughes, and stayed till 1983 when he returned to America. He died in 2000.

Baskin founded the Gehenna Press in 1942 while at Yale, and in 1956 the press moved to Northampton, Massachusetts. From the start it specialised in fine book production, its first publication being a collection of Baskin's own poems. Not long after the press had moved, Baskin began a lasting collaborative friendship with Ted Hughes, poet laureate, when they met at Smith College in 1959, where Hughes was teaching at the time. This friendship continued until Hughes' death and proved to be a very fruitful period of collaboration between the artist and the poet producing works such as 'Pike' (1959), 'Crow' (1970), 'Season Songs', (1975), 'Cave Birds' (1975, 1978, EUL MS 58), 'Under the North Star' (1981, EUL MS 263) 'Capriccio' and 'Oresteia', (1990, 2001, EUL MS 349).

From the time Baskin moved to Devon in 1974 until Ted Hughes' death in 1998 Baskin sent signed proofs of his work to Ted and Carol Hughes. An extremly talented sculptor, he created a relief bronze of Ted Hughes in profile in 1978, and another entitled 'Weeping Angel', as a memorial piece.

From the guide to the Leonard Baskin and Ted Hughes collection, 20th century, (Special Collections Archives, University of Exeter (GB0029))

Leonard Baskin was born in 1922 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and brought up in Brooklyn. He had his first exhibition of sculpture in New York at the age of seventeen and went on to study at Yale University followed by the New School for Social Research between 1941 and 1949. In 1953 he began teaching printmaking and sculpture at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he remained until 1974. He moved to Lurley, Tiverton, Devon in 1974 close to his friend, Ted Hughes, and stayed till 1983 when he returned to America. He died in 2000.

Baskin founded the Gehenna Press in 1942 while at Yale, and in 1956 the press moved to Northampton, Massachusetts. From the start it specialised in fine book production, its first publication being a collection of Baskin's own poems. Not long after the press had moved, Baskin began a lasting collaborative friendship with Ted Hughes, poet laureate, when they met at Smith College in 1959, where Hughes was teaching at the time. This friendship continued until Hughes' death and proved to be a very fruitful period of collaboration between the artist and the poet producing works such as 'Pike' (1959), 'Crow' (1970), 'Season Songs', (1975), 'Cave Birds' (1975, 1978, EUL MS 58), 'Under the North Star' (1981, EUL MS 263) 'Capriccio' and 'Oresteia', (1990, 2001, EUL MS 349). Several of their collaborative works were published by the Gehenna Press, including 'Capriccio' and 'Oresteia', for which the items below are proofs.

From the guide to the Leonard Baskin, woodcut proofs for 'Capriccio' and the 'Oresteia', published by Gehenna Press, late 20th century, (Special Collections Archives, University of Exeter (GB0029))

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Subjects:

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