Leonard BASKIN

Leonard Baskin, printmaker, sculptor, illustrator, writer, and teacher, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey on August 15, 1922. His art education began at the Educational Alliance in New York where he studied with the sculptor Maurice Glickman between 1937 and 1939. Those studies were followed by two years at the New York University School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Baskin also studied at Yale University School of Fine Arts between 1941 and 1943. While a student at Yale, he established his Gehenna Press, which specialized in fine book production. His studies were interrupted by his years of service in the United States Navy during World War II. After his tour of duty, he returned to his studies the New School for Social Research and graduated in 1949 receiving a B.A. Degree. In 1950 he went to Paris where he studied at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, and the following year to Florence to work at the Accademia di Belle Arti.

Between 1952 and 1953, he was an instructor in printmaking at the Worcester Art Museum and, in 1953, he began a twenty-year career teaching printmaking and sculpture at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Baskin was a prodigious artist and the catalogue raisonné of his graphic works includes 739 works. Among his honors and awards are a Prix de Rome, Honorable Mention for Sculpture in 1940; Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship for Sculpture in 1947; Guggenheim Fellowship in Creative Printings in 1953; Ohara Museum Prize in 1964; Alonzo C. Mather Prize, Art Institute of Chicago, 1961; Special Medal of Merit from the American Institute of Graphic Art in 1965; Widener Medal from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art in 1965; and a Medal for Graphic Arts from the National Institute for Arts and Letters in 1969. His monumental bronze sculpture, The Funeral Cortege, graces the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Baskin's work is represented in the collections of the Amon Carter Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, British Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, Detroit Institute of Arts, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Library of Congress, Museum of Modern Art New York; National Gallery of Art; New Jersey State Museum, Newark Museum, Princeton University, Seattle Art Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Vatican Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Wesleyan University, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Worcester Art Museum.

Leonard Baskin died in Northampton, Massachusetts on June 3, 2000.

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