WMF Mourns the Passing of Jean-Louis Cohen

World Monuments Fund (WMF) is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jean-Louis Cohen on August 7, 2023. As a valued member of the jury for the World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize, Cohen played a crucial role in raising awareness of the conservation challenges facing modernist buildings around the world and the innovative work being done to preserve them. 

An architect and architectural historian, Cohen contributed greatly to our understanding of modernism and twentieth-century urbanism and was widely considered one of the leading authorities on Le Corbusier. The creative force behind La Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris, Cohen curated exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, Pompidou Center, and the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. He was the author of over 40 books and numerous articles and held the position of Sheldon H. Solow Professor in History of Architecture at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts from 1994 until his death.  

Cohen was a strong supporter of the World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize since its very first cycle in 2008. As a juror, he sought to highlight the significant intellectual contributions made to modernist discourse by architects implementing thoughtful conservation interventions. He was a key supporter of the 2018 winner, the Karl Marx School in Villejuif, France, praising the building for its “aesthetic and social ambitions” and its ability to demonstrate that “modernism could also find a popular following.” He was a dear friend and colleague to all who knew him at WMF, and we offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones at this time.