Jean-Louis Cohen, New York University Institute of Fine Arts Professor in History of Architecture, passed away suddenly. He was 74 years old.
News of his death was shared online by Isabelle Regnier, a regular contributor to Le Monde about architecture, and other sources. Cohen’s death was also confirmed by the Institute of Fine Arts.
Jean-Louis Cohen est parti. Encyclopédie vivante, du Corbusier, du constructivisme russe, de Frank O. Gehry, entres autre, l’homme était d’une érudition exceptionnelle, très sympathique par ailleurs, en première ligne pour défendre la cause du patrimoine moderne. RIP pic.twitter.com/us916XgbFT
— Isabelle Regnier (@IsabRegnier) August 7, 2023
Cohen was born in Paris in 1949. A trained architect and historian, Cohen studied at the École Spéciale d’Architecture, the Unité Pédagogique no. 6, and Architecte DPLG; all in Paris. In 1985, Cohen earned his PhD in art history from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. After a series of appointments in academia and the French government, Cohen left Paris in 1994 to join NYU as Sheldon H. Solow Professor in History of Architecture.
Throughout his tenure at NYU, Cohen held visiting teaching appointments at Princeton University, TU Delft, and the University of Sydney, among others, while lecturing at other prestigious institutions around the world. A polyglot, Cohen’s research focused on the cities of Paris, Berlin, Moscow, New York, Algiers, and Casablanca. Among Cohen’s long list of accomplishments and publications, he’s widely considered one of the world’s preeminent experts on Le Corbusier. He’s been called “undoubtedly France’s most authoritative and knowledgeable historian of twentieth-century architecture and urbanism.”
To date, Cohen has written numerous acclaimed books, including exhaustive monographs on Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe; and organized lectures and exhibitions on diverse subject matters ranging from Soviet constructivism, the radical Italian architect Bruno Zevi, Oscar Niemeyer’s work in Brazil, international and French modernism, and so much more.
Most recently, Cohen provided commentary to AN about the Vkhutemas exhibition at The Cooper Union.
This is breaking news. AN will follow this announcement with additional coverage in the coming days.