Leonard Baskin was a American Sculptor, Illustrator, Wood-Engraver, Print-maker, Graphic Artist, Writer, and Teacher; pretty amazing at the time even though there were other many multi-disciplinary artists at the time.
Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Baskin moved to New York when he was 7. It was when Baskin reached 15 years old that be decided to dedicate himself to becoming a sculptor. He studied at the New York University School of Architecture and Applied Arts, and received a scholarship from Yale in 1941, where he studied there for two years.
It was at Yale where Baskin was influenced by William Blake, and decided to create his own printed books. He also founded Gehenna press, one of the first fine art presses in America until it’s closure in 2000 when Baskin passed away.
Baskin also started teaching printmaking and sculpture at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Baskin also illustrated/collaborated with his friend Ted Hughes, where they would become a writer/illustrator duo.
Baskin’s work frequently delved into the topics of Jewish themes, and sometimes memorials of the Holocaust as Baskin’s was Jewish himself. Being known for his contribution and support of figurative art and his frequent themes of human mortality, Baskin would be remembered as a preeminent figure for 20th century American art.