Baskin was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He studied art at Yale University, where he founded Gehenna Press. Until Baskin’s death in 2000, the Gehenna Press operated as the fine-art book press with the highest standards of quality. Baskin worked as a book-artist, illustrator, printmaker, sculptor, and teacher and often collaborated with poet Ted Hughes. He received numerous important public commissions, including a thirty foot-long bas-relief for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C.