Cohn-Wiener, Ernst

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COHN-WIENER, ERNST (1882–1941), German art historian. Cohn-Wiener was born in Tilsit. After studying the history of art, archaeology, and philosophy, Cohn-Wiener worked as an art historian at the Juedische Volkshochschule and the Humboldt Academy in Berlin. Initially a specialist in German gothic sculpture, his principal fields of interest became Islamic and Jewish art as well as study of the Near and Far East, which he visited during a research expeditions in Russia, Asia Minor, Turkestan, and China (1924–5). His chief works are Die Juedische Kunst (1929) and Turan (1930). In 1933 he emigrated to Great Britain and in 1934 to India, where he was appointed as manager of the museums and art school in Baroda. There he modernized institutions like the Gallery of Baroda and established new departments for Islamic art and Indian miniatures at the University of Bombay. His wife, Lenni, an archaeologist, assisted him. In 1939 he settled in the United States and taught at the American Institute for Iranian Art and Archaeology until his death in New York 1941. Cohn-Wiener's works on Jewish and Islamic art were seminal, but remained isolated for a long time.

add. bibliography:

E.G. Lowenthal, "Ernst Cohn-Wiener. Forscher, Historiker und Lehrer bildender Kunst," in: Allgemeine juedische Wochenzeitung (Jan. 9, 1953); U. Wendland (ed.), Biographisches Handwörterbuch deutschsprachiger Kunsthistoriker im Exil. Leben und Werk der unter dem Nationalsozialismus verfolgten und vertriebenen Wissenschaftler, vol.1, A-K. (1999), 101–104.

[Sonja Beyer 2nd ed.]