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



Icones : Jewish Artists of the Early & Late Renaissance

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The enigmatic, humorous Jewish Artists of the Early & Late Renaissance, is written from the point of view of an imagined art historian, who acts as our guide through esoteric biographical details. This humorous work is in fact a fanciful pantheon of Jewish artists who might have flourished during the Renaissance, but didn’t. Baskin’s wit is as much in the text as in the images: he cites ficitional references and describes Brisquette’s impossibly dolorous personality and fetid-looking sculptures. For this project, Baskin’s son, Hosea, set and printed the letterpress, and his student, Michael Kuch, printed the complex color etchings.

Leonard Baskin. Color etchings of Moise Brisquette. From: Jewish Artists of the Early & Late Renaissance: a Book of Etchings and Words. Gehenna Press, 1993.

Book Arts Collection, Hamilton College Library.