RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 350
Date20th century
Extent4 linear metres
TitleLeonard Baskin and Ted Hughes collection
DescriptionThis collection consists of a range of prints, including etchings, woodcuts, woodblocks, lithographs and watercolours; books, drawings and correspondence from Leonard Baskin to Ted Hughes and catalogues by Baskin and the Gehenna Press. Many of the items are artists' proofs and are signed and annotated to Ted and Carol Hughes.

Included in the collection are limited edition Gehenna Press books of Baskin's collaborations with Ted Hughes including 'Howls and Whispers', 'Oresteia' and 'Mokomaki' and other, often artists' copies, limited edition Gehenna Press books illustrated by Baskin including 'Diptera', 'Hermaika' and 'Nature's Mould'.

There are also catalogues and flyers for individual works published by Gehenna Press, a Catalogue Raisonne of Baskin's work, exhibition posters, printing plates, and books illustrated by Leonard Baskin.
Admin HistoryLeonard Baskin was born in 1922 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and brought up in Brooklyn. He had his first exhibition of sculpture in New York at the age of seventeen and went on to study at Yale University followed by the New School for Social Research between 1941 and 1949. In 1953 he began teaching printmaking and sculpture at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he remained until 1974. He moved to Lurley, Tiverton, Devon in 1974 close to his friend, Ted Hughes, and stayed till 1983 when he returned to America. He died in 2000.
Baskin founded the Gehenna Press in 1942 while at Yale, and in 1956 the press moved to Northampton, Massachusetts. From the start it specialised in fine book production, its first publication being a collection of Baskin's own poems. Not long after the press had moved, Baskin began a lasting collaborative friendship with Ted Hughes, poet laureate, when they met at Smith College in 1959, where Hughes was teaching at the time. This friendship continued until Hughes' death and proved to be a very fruitful period of collaboration between the artist and the poet producing works such as 'Pike' (1959), 'Crow' (1970), 'Season Songs', (1975), 'Cave Birds' (1975, 1978, EUL MS 58), 'Under the North Star' (1981, EUL MS 263) 'Capriccio' and 'Oresteia', (1990, 2001, EUL MS 349).

From the time Baskin moved to Devon in 1974 until Ted Hughes' death in 1998 Baskin sent signed proofs of his work to Ted and Carol Hughes. An extremly talented sculptor, he created a relief bronze of Ted Hughes in profile in 1978, and another entitled 'Weeping Angel', as a memorial piece [which was gifted to Yale University by Davida Tenenbaum Deutsch in memory of Alvin Deutsch in 2022].
Access StatusOpen
Related MaterialThere is a small collection of proofs in EUL MS 349.
Access ConditionsUsual EUL conditions apply.
ArrangementOrganized by book, project portfolio or format. There is a large series of individual prints not yet fully catalogued.
Finding_AidsPartially listed.
Creator_NameBaskin, Leonard (1922-2000); sculptor and artist
Hughes; Ted (1930-1998); poet laureate
Mgt_GroupVisual culture papers
Literary papers
    Powered by CalmView© 2008-2024