The Jaffe Center for Book Arts Spring Reception, held on April 26 at the Wimberly Library, offered visitors a unique opportunity to explore the current Leonard Baskin exhibit, mingle with the center's knowledgeable staff, and learn more about the Jaffe's remarkable collection of artists' books. From stunning monumental woodcuts and author prints to richly illustrated books and graphic art, the exhibit showcases the legacy of Baskin's art and leaves attendees inspired by the power of his talent.
Over seventy faculty, staff, students, and community members stopped by to enjoy the refreshments, tour the Center and learn more about Leonard Baskin.
JCBA's newest specialist Daniel Zaccardi, who researched, curated, and designed the exhibition, gave a talk on the artist's legacy and answered questions about Baskin's life and career. During his work on the exhibit, Daniel spoke with Baskin's family, friends, and former students and was able to not only create a display of the artist's work that has deep artistic and educational value but also to tell the story of what inspired Baskin throughout his life and made him into an accomplished sculptor, printer, and artist that he was.
"What a fine event our Spring Reception was! We met many new friends who had never before visited the Jaffe Center for Book Arts. It was a pleasure to meet two former docents at the Schmidt Center Gallery back in 2000s who were present for the exhibition that announced the original opening of the Jaffe Collection at FAU Libraries to the world. They liked what we'd done with the place over the course of the past two decades," said John Cutrone, JCBA Director.
Leonard Baskin was one of the foremost American sculptors and graphic artists of the 20th century who often addressed the topic of the Holocaust in his work. His sculptures and prints, influenced by his own Jewish heritage, conveyed the horrors of the Nazi regime and created a lasting impact on the art world. Baskin's legacy as an artist goes beyond his technical skills, as his work has continued to serve as a powerful reminder of the atrocities committed during one of the darkest periods of human history.
Arthur and Mata Jaffe, founders of the Jaffe Collection, collected Baskin's work extensively, and as a result, the Center is proud to maintain one of the most comprehensive Baskin archives anywhere. When in the 1990s Baskin was working on putting together a major retrospective exhibit showcasing his body of work over his entire career, he came to Jaffe Center to borrow some of the works he himself did not have. Arthur Jaffe used the visit as an opportunity to have Baskin sign every item authored by him in the collection, including every commercially-produced children's book he had released.
"Leonard Baskin was the most prolific kind of artist: he thought of himself mostly as a sculptor, but at the Jaffe Collection you'll find Baskin's limited edition books, his prints, a watercolor painting, a great deal of ephemera (including a restaurant menu he designed and printed as a young designer), and all of the children's books that he produced over the years, too, filled with stories of imps, demons, and fiends with which to send sleepy children off to slumberland each night. Baskin's work ranges from astounding to heartbreaking to playful," said John Cutrone.
The full range of Baskin's work is on display with this "Our Human Frame: 100 Years of Baskin" exhibition at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts through June.
If you found the Jaffe Center Spring Reception to be enjoyable and informative, we would like to invite you to consider making a small donation to support the Center's ongoing mission to promote book arts. Your contribution will help the Center continue to offer engaging events and educational opportunities to the community. Additionally, we invite you to stay connected with us to learn about future events and exhibitions at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts. Thank you for your support, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Join the University Libraries mailing list to stay informed about the exciting events happening at the University Library. Receive regular updates about exhibitions, workshops, and other events designed to inspire and engage the community.