Leonard Baskin, woodcut proofs for 'Capriccio' and the 'Oresteia', published by Gehenna Press

Scope and Content

Items from two collaborative works between Leonard Baskin and Ted Hughes, both published by the Gehenna Press:

Proofs for 'Capriccio', 1990 (all measurements in inches, w x h)

Title page, proof, colour (27.5 x 19.75)

The Error, proof, (14.125 x 19.9)

Systole Diastole, proof sheet (27.5 x 19.75)

Proofs for 'Oresteia ', 2001

Prospectus (24.125 x 16

Gorgon (12.25 x 16)

Paris and Helen (12.25 x 16)

Orestes (12.25 x 16)

Snake and Eagle (12.25 x 16)

Eagle and Hare, press proof, sheet with text (24.125 x 16)

Three Furies, press proof, sheet with text (24.125 x 16)

The colophon (24.125 x 16)

Administrative / Biographical History

Leonard 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). Several of their collaborative works were published by the Gehenna Press, including 'Capriccio' and 'Oresteia', for which the items below are proofs.

Access Information

Usual EUL conditions apply.

Acquisition Information

Donated by the artist's widow.

Other Finding Aids


Archivist's Note

Description created by Christine Faunch, Feb 2009.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying is not permitted. Please consult the Archive Curator.


Accruals are not expected.

Related Material

See also EUL MS 58, EUL MS 192, EUL MS 263, EUL MS 350.