Man with Pomegranate, 1967
37 ½ inches high
Inscribed L. Baskin/5-12/Kennedy
Galleries with the foundry stamp
BEDI-MAKKY/ N.Y.C., on the base
Baskin was born in New Jersey and moved to Brooklyn when he was seven. His father, a rabbi, supervised his education until he was 16 years old. Baskin’s professional education began when he studied with artist Maurice Glickman at the Educational Alliance from 1937 to 1939. This was followed by stints at New York University’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts, Yale University, the navy, the New School for Social Research, the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence.
Best known for his prints, Baskin was also a calligrapher, watercolorist, illustrator, designer, and poet. He started Gehenna Press in 1942, which at his death had published more than 100 books combining poetry and illustrations achieved through engraving or woodcuts. In 1974 Baskin moved to England for 10 years, in part to be near the poet Ted Hughes, with whom Baskin collaborated on several publications. Despite these wide-ranging activities, Baskin stated that his real concern was sculpture. While information about Man with Pomegranate is scarce, it is interesting to note the symbolism of the pomegranate. It represents righteousness in Judaism, and some scholars believe it may have been the pomegranate, not the apple, that was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. In many other religions the pomegranate is a symbol of fertility and marriage.