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



An Architect of the Page : MacLeish

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Archibald MacLeish, doyen of American poetry and a Librarian of Congress among other careers, was another of Baskin's collaborators. Gehenna Press printed both An Evening's Journey to Conway, Massachusetts and A Voyage to the Moon. Conway, Massachusetts, not far from the home of the Gehenna Press in Northampton, was MacLeish's longtime home. A Voyage to the Moon commemorated the moon landing in 1969.

Together, the two imprints use Centaur type to convey two very different feelings. For the script, An Evening's Journey to Conway, Massachusetts, Baskin's design is muted and serves as an underpinning to the gracefully-presented text. For A Voyage to the Moon, Baskin's broadside is far bolder, matching the dramatic poem with its large type and unusual spacing.

Archibald MacLeish. An Evening’s Journey to Conway, Massachusetts: An Outdoor Play. Gehenna Press, 1967.

Archibald MacLeish. Voyage to the Moon. Broadside. Gehenna Press, 1969.