Artifex: Leonard Baskin and the Gehenna Press


The early years of Gehenna Press

Baskin & Hughes

An Architect of the Page

“Of the making of books…”




Honoring James Baldwin

The Oresteia



The early years of Gehenna Press : William Blake

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Baskin developed a great fondness for the art and poetry of William Blake during his college years at Yale. The young artist was particularly drawn to Blake's expansive creativity, which encompassed both poetry and art. His interest in Blake endured for many years; in 1956, the Gehenna Press published Blake and the Youthful Ancients, an ode to Blake and his circle. Here, Baskin represents (from top to bottom) Blake and two of his colleagues: George Richmond engraving the Shepherd, George Richmond in his engraving costume, Blake (after his visionary self-portrait), and Blake (after a drawing by John Linnell). This example is an unbound proof sheet.

Leonard Baskin. Four Artists’ Portraits. Wood engravings. Proof sheet for Blake and the Youthful Ancients. Gehenna Press, 1956.

Gift of Mr. Robert J. Leshufy to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University.