Leonard Baskin

Join our Leonard Baskin email list and stay informed about shows and events:

A Tradition of Conscience Colophon

The text of this book was set in type and printed at The Stinehour Press, Lunenburg, Vermont. The body type is Bell, a type adapted for Monotype machine typesetting in 1930 from the roman and italic type of John Bell, first cut in 1788 by Richard Austin and cast at Bell’s British Letter Foundry. The display type has been set by hand using GIambattista Bodoni’s roman and italic types originally drawn and cut by the master printer during the 1780’s at the Stamperia Reale at Parma, Italy.

The paper for the book was chosen for its color, texture and opacity as well as for its receptivity to both letterpress and intaglio impression. It is called Rives and is a mould-made paper from France.

The printing was done on a Miehle flat bed, two-revolution press, the standard work-horse of the book printer for several generations. The printing ink used was Barta-Griffin book black and Braden Sutphin excello red, made to an extra stiff consistency for printing slowly on book paper. Each ink, red and black, required a separate impression or two trips through the press.

Leonard Baskin etched the five copper plates for printing.

Etching, a traditional method of providing multiple images, dates from early in the sixteenth century. The artist covers a smooth copper plate with an acid-resistant ground;  he then draws through this coating with a sharp-pointed tool, exposing the copper in the lines of the drawing. When this is completed, the plate is immersed in an acid bath which eats away the exposed lines but does not touch the parts still protected by the ground. By manipulation of the process, the artist obtains a great tonal range and expressiveness of line.

The five plates accompanying the text were individually printed on dampened paper on a hand etching press by Robert Hunsberger of Philadelphia. Each plate was inked by hand to achieve the qualities required by the artist.

The press sheets were folded and sewn, the etchings mounted in place, and hand bound in the traditional manner by Fred Young at his Harcourt Bindery in Boston. The leather used on the spine is Niger goatskin from Morocco processed in England. The blue cover paper and end leaves are of Italian paper made in Fabriano at the oldest paper mills in Europe, Cartiere Miliani-Fabriano.

Two hundred and fifty copes of this book were made in 1965, the work completed in December. Ten additional artist’s proofs of the etchings were made.