Leonard Baskin and the Gehenna Press collection
Scope and Contents
The Leonard Baskin and Gehenna Press collection, donated by Maurice and Edith Shulman in 1972, includes several books and ephemera printed by the Northampton (Mass.)-based publishing house. Baskin, famous for his woodcarvings, sculptures, and prints, founded the Gehenna Press in 1942 while studying art at Yale. He named the press after a line in John Milton’s "Paradise Lost."
The 27 books in the collection span 40 years of publication—1952 to 1992—and reflect the evolution of the Gehenna Press from a one-man printing house to a nationally recognized enterprise. Books of particular note include Baskin’s "Castle Street Dogs: Wood Carvings" printed in 1952, and "Horned Beatles and Other Insects: Etchings," published in 1958. Both feature Baskin’s artistic hand and represent modern versions of bestiaries popular in medieval times.
In addition to books, the collection contains several folders of various printed material, including Gehenna Press exhibition catalogs, publication prospectuses, and holiday greeting cards, ranging from 1954 to 1998.
See also two letters from Baskin in the Autograph collection.
- Majority of material found in 1954-1969
- Other: Date acquired: 19720000
- Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University. Please contact the department for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.
0.25 Linear Feet
3 oversized folders, 1 manuscript box other_unmapped
Language of Materials
The collection is arranged in three series: 1. Printed Ephemera, 1954-1991; 2. Oversized Material, 1964-1998; 3. Books Published by Gehenna Press, 1952-1992. Series one and two are arranged in original order and series three is arranged by call number. For more information about each series, please consult the series descriptions in the box and folder listing.
Source of Acquisition
Donated by Maurice and Edith Shulman in 1972.
One folder containing photocopied press clippings about Baskin and articles by him was moved to the control file.
Other Descriptive Information
Addenda to this collection may not be listed in the finding aid, but may be available for research use. Please contact us for more information.
- Art, Modern -- 20th century Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000
- Gehenna Press Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- Printing -- Massachusetts -- History Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Private presses Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- Privately printed books Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Alex Wagner Lough
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note