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Leonard Baskin, Works on Paper : The Cummer Museum

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens presents a survey work by Leonard Baskin. An internationally renown artist known primarily for sculpting, printing and book design but also recognized as an essayist and a poet. The current exhibit at The Cummer spotlights 16 prints and watercolors, currently on view in the Millner Gallery through November 11, 2012.

Published August 11, 2012 in Weekend Edition      0 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


The Cummer presents a survey of works on paper by Leonard Baskin, a major figure in 20th-century American Art.  The exhibition, currently on view, features 16 prints and watercolors that highlight images of humanity, a central theme in Baskin’s works on paper.  The poignancy of Baskin’s artistic legacy is the common consciousness of humankind.

Baskin (American, 1922-2000) was an internationally acclaimed sculptor, printmaker, painter, calligrapher, essayist, book designer and poet.  Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1922, Baskin grew up in Brooklyn under the strict tutelage of his rabbi father, which gave him a rich classical education.  After studying with sculptor Maurice Glickman, and attending several universities, Baskin taught himself the art of printmaking at Yale University, which he attended on a scholarship. There, in 1942, he founded the Gehenna Press, a private fine art press that published more than 100 handcrafted artist books and portfolios during his lifetime.

In the 1940s and 1950s when movements such as abstract expressionism all but eliminated the human form in painting and sculpture, Baskin championed it. Through figuration, his overarching concern was to express the power and depth of the human condition at its most primal.  

Primarily known as a sculptor, Baskin rapidly gained international recognition as a printmaker and book designer.  He worked as professor at Smith College in North Hampton, Massachusetts from 1953 to 1974.

Leonard Baskin (American, 1922 – 2000), Self Portrait at Age 44, 1966, etching, image: 5 7/8 x 6 in., Gift of Mr. H. Shickman, Shickman Gallery, New York, AG.1968.3.1.

Leonard Baskin (American, 1922 – 2000), Nimrod, c. 1975, watercolor, On loan from a Private Collection.

Leonard Baskin (American, 1922 – 2000), Cain, c. 1975, watercolor, On loan from a Private Collection.

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