The Art of the Book: Celebrating Rabbi Bernard Baskin

Rabbi Bernard Baskin’s Talk and Reception: September 18, 6 – 8 pm
Tour and Bookmaking Workshop: For the Love of Books: September 27, 12 – 4 pm
Docent guided tour of THE ART OF THE BOOK exhibition followed by BeetleBarrow Studios Bookmaking Workshop. FREE. Space is limited, REGISTER: . A Canada Culture Days 2014 Event

The Art of the Book is a joint project of McMaster Museum of Art and McMaster University Library. The exhibition celebrates the generosity of Rabbi Bernard Baskin, a household name in the Hamilton community. Over the years, the Rabbi has donated nearly 1000 volumes to the Library at McMaster, and to the Museum, hundreds of works of art by his brother, the well known American sculptor, printmaker and private press editor, Leonard Baskin (1922 – 2000).

Books are more than a passing fascination for Rabbi Baskin. They represent a way of life mirroring the wonder and complexity of human creation. For fifty years he has been an assiduous book collector, and in that time has amassed 10,000 books. For years, he was the proprietor of Ibis Books and Arts, an antiquarian bookselling firm that specialized in Judaica, typography, private press books, pre-1800 books and manuscripts, illustrated books, art and the occult. Selections of this rare material will foreground the exhibition content, while supporting volumes and prints from the Museum’s collection will round out the story of Baskin, the collector.

Born in New Jersey, Rabbi Bernard Baskin graduated with a B.A. degree from Brooklyn College and with a Masters of Hebrew Literature from the Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. He came to Hamilton’s Temple Anshe Sholom, the oldest Reform Congregation in Canada, over 60 years ago. The Rabbi is now retired and lives in Hamilton.