Leonard Baskin was one of the universal artists of the 20th century. Sculptor, painter, printmaker and writer he was born in 1922, reared in New York and educated at a Yeshiva (a Jewish religious college) before going on to Yale. In 1953 he began teaching printmaking and sculpture at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he remained until 1974. While there he founded Gehenna, a small private press specializing in fine book production. He moved to England in 1974 and spent the next nine years living near Tiverton in Devon where he built a great friendship with the poet laureate Ted Hughes and his wife Sylvia Plath illustrating books for both.
Baskin was a superb, prolific print-maker. His prints ranged from woodcuts through lithography and etching; his subjects covered portraits, flower studies, biblical, classical and mythological scenes. Baskin’s sculpture, watercolours, and prints are in the permanent collections of most of the world’s major art galleries and museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, the Vatican Museum, the Smithsonian Institute and the Tate Gallery in London.