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[BKARTS] Leonard Baskin exhibition at Cornell University

The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition

"Artifex: Leonard Baskin & the Gehenna Press"

on view in the Hirshland Gallery, Carl A. Kroch Library

October 2, 2003 - January 9, 2004

Please come to the opening reception on Thursday, October 2, 2003, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections celebrates the book art of Leonard Baskin (1922?2000) through the exhibition Artifex: Leonard Baskin & the Gehenna Press. A cornerstone of Cornell University Library?s book arts collection, Baskin?s books represent the apex of contemporary letterpress printing and the work of a seminal American artist. The exhibition will feature books and fine prints from Baskin?s Gehenna Press, including wood engravings, woodcuts, and etchings. Baskin?s own working materials, lent by Lisa Unger Baskin, will also be on view. Other artwork and books have been lent by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Hamilton College Library, Princeton University Library, and Professor Michael Kammen. These unique sketches, wood blocks, and proofs provide a rare glimpse into the creative process and illustrate the physical and conceptual construction of books from cover to cover. Sculptures by Leonard Baskin on loan from the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art also will be on view in the Kroch hallway.

Leonard Baskin is widely recognized as a major figure in twentieth-century American art. His sculptures, prints, books, and drawings can be found in the collections of nearly every major research library and art museum. Lovers of books and fine printing revere his work as a printer and book maker. Among the best-known of Baskin?s books are those on which he collaborated with noted poets, such as Ted Hughes and Archibald MacLeish. This exhibition will highlight many of these artistic partnerships.

Throughout his work Baskin explored not only book design, but also the history of printing. His portraits (real and imagined) often documented figures in the history of printing and typography, binding, papermaking, and printmaking. In creating a pantheon of printers, he inscribed himself into that complex history, all the while developing an artistic persona that transcended the strict hierarchy of the contemporary art world. Indeed, Baskin embodied the artifex, Latin for ?creator,? a term that blends the roles of master craftsman, artisan, and artist.

"Artifex: Leonard Baskin & the Gehenna Press" was curated by Susette Newberry, coordinator of public programs, with the assistance of Katherine Reagan, curator of rare books, and Margaret Nichols, head of cataloging and collections management.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Arnold B. '44 and Gloria Tofias Fund and the Stephen C. and Karen L. Parker Fund.

A web site with details of the exhibition will be available on Thursday, October 2, at the following address:

Susette Newberry, Ph. D.
Coordinator of Public Programs
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Carl A. Kroch Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: (607) 255-3530
Fax: (607) 255-9524
E-mail sn18@xxxxxxxxxxx

Visit our current exhibition online:
Artifex: Leonard Baskin & the Gehenna Press
http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/baskin/ *********************************************** Book_Arts-L subscriber gallery now at See the Book_Arts-L FAQ at: *Postings may not be re-printed in any form without the express consent of the author - Please respect their contributions & ©* Archive maintained and suppported by Conservation OnLine ***********************************************

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