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




Throughout his oeuvre Baskin explored not only book design, but also the history of printing. The Icones series of portraits, in particular, exemplifies his interest in the history of book making. These portraits and brief biographies document and sometimes fictionalize personages in the history of western printing and typography, binding, papermaking, and printmaking. This pantheon brought attention to little-known artisans as it also celebrated more famous artists. Baskin similarly developed his own artistic persona. He exemplified the notion of the artifex, making little distinction between the roles of master craftsman, artisan and artist.

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Icones Librorum Artifices, I
Icones Librorum Artifices, II
Jewish Artists of the Early & Late Renaissance
Rodolphe Bresdin