Cohen, Arthur A. (Arthur Allen), 1928-1986

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American theologian, art critic, writer and bookseller.

From the description of Papers relating to Herbert Bayer, ca. 1979-1984. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 83781012

From the description of Papers relating to Sonia and Robert Delaunay, ca. 1960-1981. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 145996063

From the description of Arthur Cohen interview with Robert Motherwell, 1969. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 77719338

Arthur Allen Cohen, theologian, author, editor, and publisher, was born on June 25, 1928 in New York to Isidore Meyer and Bess Junger Cohen. Cohen graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts (1946) and a Masters of Arts (1949). He returned to New York where he enrolled at the Union Theological Seminary and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (graduating in 1953).

While Cohen was a student at the Jewish Theological Seminary he founded the Noonday Press with Cecil Hemley. Cohen sold the press in 1955 and founded Meridian Books. When the World Publishing Company bought Meridian Books in 1960, Cohen stayed on with the company, working as vice president until taking a position as director of the religious book department and then editor-in-chief at Holt, Rinehart, & Winston (1962-64). Cohen worked as managing editor of the Documents of Twentieth Century Art series for Viking Press from 1968 to 1975.

Cohen also sustained a writing career in tandem with his publishing career. He authored several novels, including The Carpenter Years (1967), In the Days of Simon Stern (1973), A Hero in His Time (1976), Acts of Theft (1980), An Admirable Woman (1983), and Artists and Enemies (1987). His non-fiction works include Martin Buber (1957), The Natural and the Supernatural Jew (1962), The Myth of the Judeo-Christian Tradition (1970), Osip Emilievich Mandelstam: An Essay in Antiphon (1974), and The Tremendum: A Theological Interpretation of the Holocaust (1981). Cohen also published a number of articles in Harper's, New York Times Book Review, Partisan Review, and other journals.

In 1956 Cohen married Elaine Firstenberg Lustig (b. 1927), a graphic designer, painter, and photographer, with whom he opened Ex Libris (1974-1986), a gallery and bookstore specializing in rare, out-of-print materials on twentieth-century art (particularly European avant-garde). Arthur and Elaine Cohen had one daughter, Tamar Judith, an artist based in New York.

Cohen died of cancer at the age of 58 in 1986.

From the guide to the Arthur A. Cohen papers, 1941-1988, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn New Directions Publishing records Houghton Library
creatorOf Cohen, Arthur A. (Arthur Allen), 1928-1986. Papers relating to Herbert Bayer, ca. 1979-1984. Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Milton Steinberg (1903-1950) Papers, undated, 1883-2003, 1923-1950 American Jewish Historical Society
creatorOf Cohen, Arthur A. (Arthur Allen), 1928-1986. Papers relating to Sonia and Robert Delaunay, ca. 1960-1981. Getty Research Institute
creatorOf Aiken, Conrad, 1889-1973. Conrad Aiken letters, 1951-1962. Emory University. Special Collections and Archives
creatorOf Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972. Marianne Moore letters and other material, 1952-1972. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Cohen, Arthur Allen, 1928-. Arthur A. Cohen papers, ca. 1905-1986. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Schwartz, Delmore, 1913-1966. Typed letter signed : Pittstown, N.J., to Arthur A. Cohen, 1956 June 3. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Cohen, Arthur A. (Arthur Allen), 1928-1986. Correspondence to Chaim Potok, ca. 1967. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Roko Gallery records Archives of American Art
creatorOf Cohen, Arthur A. (Arthur Allen), 1928-1986,. Arthur Cohen interview with Robert Motherwell, 1969. Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Baron, Salo W. Papers, 1900-1980 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Mary Hyde Eccles papers, 1853-2005, (bulk) 1939-2003. Houghton Library
creatorOf Arthur A. Cohen papers, 1941-1988 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Records of David R. Godine, 1965-1990. Getty Research Institute
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Oral history interview with Herbert Bayer Archives of American Art
Relation Name
associatedWith Aiken, Conrad, 1889-1973. person
associatedWith Altizer, Thomas J. J. person
associatedWith Apollinaire, Guillaume, 1880-1918. person
associatedWith Baron, Salo W. (Salo Wittmayer), 1895-1989. person
correspondedWith Bayer, Herbert, 1900-1985 person
associatedWith Cendrars, Blaise, 1887-1961. person
associatedWith David R. Godine, Publisher. corporateBody
associatedWith Delaunay, Robert, 1885-1941. person
associatedWith Delaunay, Sonia. person
associatedWith Deltail, Joseph. person
associatedWith Eccles, Mary Hyde. person
associatedWith Kaniuk, Yoram. person
associatedWith Kosinski, Jerzy, 1933-1991 person
associatedWith Maritain, Jacques, 1882-1973 person
associatedWith Meridian Books. corporateBody
associatedWith Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972. person
associatedWith Motherwell, Robert person
associatedWith Neusner, Jacob, 1932- person
correspondedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith Noonday Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Roko Gallery corporateBody
associatedWith Roko Gallery (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Schwartz, Delmore, 1913-1966. person
associatedWith Steinberg, Milton,1903-1950 person
associatedWith Taubes, Jacob. person
associatedWith Todd, Ruthven, 1914-1978 person
associatedWith Viking Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Wiesel, Elie, 1928- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Publishers and publishing
Authors, American
Art criticism
Art, German
Painting, French


Birth 1928

Death 1986






Ark ID: w6737mx7

SNAC ID: 71173464