Funded Project: Sidney Berger

Award Recipient, Sidney E.Berger“Continuing the Analysis of the Theories and Practicesof Leonard Baskin’s Printing”(Abstract)The purpose of this project is to continue the work on a book about the printing of Leonard Baskin, the proprietor for nearly 55 years of the Gehenna Press. It will help to defray the expense of transcribing the 40 plus hours worth of tapes obtained to date. Last year, I received a grant from LAUC-Systemwide, and with that grant, I have traveled to Baskin’s home, interviewed him on tape for many hours, interviewed many people who have helped him in the production of his books, and have begun to transcribe the tapes.

The 40 plus hours of interviews, with three more people to interview, include rich and varied topics about Baskin’s design theories, his use of papers and inks and typefaces, his collaborations with artists, authors, printers, and printmakers through the years, his bookmaking as an artistic as well as a commercial enterprise, and so on. Because of the treasure trove of information from Baskin, as well as about Baskin, I have actually gotten more hours worth of recordings than I had originally assumed that I would get. With this award, I can continue to transcribe the tapes. The resulting book will be filled with my own prose interspersed with extensive passages of Baskin’s own eloquent words, as well as those of a dozen others who have significant things to say about their collaboration with him.