Leonard Baskin  (American, 1922-2000) 

Leonard Baskin (American, August 15, 1922–June 3, 2000) was a sculptor, wood-engraver, book-illustrator, graphic artist, writer, and teacher. Born in New Brunswick, NJ, Baskin was educated at a Jewish Religious College, and his education had a great influence on his work. Baskin experimented with art at a young age and had his first solo exhibition in 1939 at the Glickman Studio Gallery in New York. Baskin studied at Yale University between 1941 and 1943. In 1949, he received his BA degree from the New School for Social Research in New York. He spent the next two years abroad studying in Paris and Florence. Between 1953 and 1974, he taught sculpture and printmaking at Smith College in Northampton, MA. Baskin inspired the Printmaking movement. He was not only outstanding at printmaking, but also taught the art at college.

While in Yale, Baskin founded Gehenna Press, a private press that specialized in producing Fine prints ranging from woodcuts and lithography to etching. Baskin collaborated with many artists and writers including his friend Ted Hughes (British, 1930–1998), with whom he published the book Crow in 1970. He won many awards for his prints, including the special medal of merit of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the gold medal of the National Academy of Design, and the gold medal of the National Academy of Arts and Letters. His watercolors, prints, and sculptures can be found in the permanent collections of major international museums and art galleries, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Vatican Museum, in the Vatican City, and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. In 1994, he was honored with a 52-year old retrospective at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Baskin inspired a new generation of print makers at Smith College and also at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, with his prolific production of Fine prints. He will be remembered for some of the sculptures that he commissioned to the public, including the bronze statue erected at the Holocaust Memorial in Ann Arbor, MI, and the sculptures for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Woodrow Wilson Memorial, both in Washington, D.C. Baskin died in 2000 at the age of 77.

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Leonard Baskin, Man of Peace


Leonard Baskin
Man of Peace
Auction: Apr 30, 2014
Gray's Auctioneers
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Leonard Baskin, The Tormented One/Tormented Man


Leonard Baskin
The Tormented One/Tormented Man

Galerie St. Etienne
Leonard Baskin, Owl (unfinished)


Leonard Baskin
Owl (unfinished)

Galerie St. Etienne
Leonard Baskin, Demon, Frightened


Leonard Baskin
Demon, Frightened

Galerie St. Etienne
Leonard Baskin, Clytemnestra


Leonard Baskin

Galerie St. Etienne
Leonard Baskin, Sitting Bull


Leonard Baskin
Sitting Bull
circa 1972

Kiechel Fine Art
Leonard Baskin, Untitled - Head


Leonard Baskin
Untitled - Head

Leonard Baskin, Untitled - Dog


Leonard Baskin
Untitled - Dog

Leonard Baskin, Medea


Leonard Baskin

Galerie St. Etienne
Past auction results (791)  View All
Leonard Baskin, Ruth (Head)


Leonard Baskin
Ruth (Head)
watercolor on paper


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Leonard Baskin, Distension


Leonard Baskin
Distension, 1965


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Leonard Baskin, Spies on his Enemies - Crow


Leonard Baskin
Spies on his Enemies - Crow, 1972


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1922   Born August 15, New Brunswick, NY
1929 - 1938   Studied at Yeshiva, Brooklyn, NY
1939 - 1940   Studied at New York University School of Architecture and Allied Arts
1940   Recieved Honorable mention for sculpture, Prix de Rome
1941 - 1943   Scholarship, Yale University School of Fine Arts New Haven, CT
1943 - 1946   Served in the United States Navy
1947   Recieved Tiffany Foundation Fellowship for Sculpture
1949   BA, New School for Social Research New York, NY
1950   Studied Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris, France
1951   Studied Accademia di Belle Arte, Florence
1953   Recieved Guggenheim Fellowship
1954   Recieved Ohara Prize, National Museum of Tokyo,
1961   Recieved National Institute of Arts and Letters Grant,
1961   Recieved Mather Prize, Art Institute of Chicago,
1965   Recieved Widener Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts,
1965   Recieved Special Medal of Merit, American Institute of Graphic Arts,
1966   Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, The New School New York, NY
1969   Recieved Medal, National Institute of Arts and Letters,
1973   Skowhegan Gold Medal for Graphics Skowhegan, ME
1985   Honorary DFA, Portland School of Art Portland, OR
1987   Honorary LHD, University of Judaism Los Angeles, CA
1995   Recieved Cultural Achievement in the Arts Award, National Foundation for Jewish Culture,
1997   Honorary Degree, Springfield College Springfield, MA
2000   Died
2008   NaturPapier, KunsGarten, Graz
2007   Graphic Force, Humanist Vision, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR (solo)
Madea and Her Sisters: Leonard Baskin's Images of Women, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA (solo)
Clear Cut, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Art Inspires Music: Interdisciplinary Gallery Project 3, ASU Art Museum, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ
Framed: The Art of the Portrait, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, ON
2006   Leonard Baskin: Portrait Prints and the Gehenna Press, Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN (solo)
More than Coffee was Served, Galerie St. Etienne, New York, NY
New Acquisitions: Prints, ASU Art Museum, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ
Spotlight, Thomas Deans Fine Art, Atlanta, GA
2005   Currents: Twenty-Five Years of Collecting Modern and Contemporary Prints, Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art, Evanston, IL
2004   Leonard Baskin: Creatures of Darkness, Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, SC (solo)
Leonard Baskin: Two Portfolios, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, OK (solo)
Objects of Our Desire: Sculpture from the Sheldon, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, NE
2003   DeCordova Collects: Gifts from Stephen and Sybil Stone, DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA
2002   Images of Nature, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
2001   Leonard Baskin, McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, ON (solo)
The Modern Woodcut, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
2000   Leonard Baskin: Monumental Prints, The de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA (solo)
1998   Leonard Baskin: 1947-1998, Hunter Museum of Art Chattanooga, TN
1994   Caprices, Grotesques and Homages: Leonard Baskin and The Gehenna Press, Library of Congress Washington, DC
1991   Angels to the Jews, Midtown Payson Gallery New York, NY
1984   The Albertina Vienna, Austria
1970   National Museum of American Art/The Smithsonian Washington, DC
1968 - 1969   XXXIV International Bienniel Exhibition of Art, Venice, Italy
1962   The Royal Watercolour Society/St. George's Gallery London, England
1958   Pasadena Art Museum Pasadena, CA
1939   Glickman Studio Gallery New York, NY