John Cohen, 1932-2019

Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the death of musician, filmmaker, mentor and photographer John Cohen. We were lucky enough to have worked side-by-side with this talented man and publish not one but three beautiful photography books with him. He will be greatly missed.

Read his last interview with writer Bill Shapiro about his latest book SPEED BUMPS ON A DIRT ROAD on the Garden & Gun website here.

John Cohen was born in 1932 in New York City’s Sunnyside, Queens and now lives in Putnam Valley, New York. A 1957 Yale School of Art alumnus, Cohen studied with Josef Albers. Cohen was a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers with whom he toured and recorded from 1958-2008, making 20 albums. Cohen was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2001 and made nine field recordings of traditional music including Roscoe Holcomb and High Atmosphere and also served as a music consultant for T Bone Burnett’s Cold Mountain.Cohen’s photographs are in collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Corcoran Museum and National Gallery in Washington D.C., as well as The Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

The author of many books, Cohen’s photography publications include There Is No Eye and Young Bob, both published by powerHouse Books, as well as Past Present PeruCheap RentsHere & Gone, and Walking In The Light, all published by Steidl.

Cohen was a professor emeritus of photography at SUNY Purchase College from 1972-1996 and a prolific filmmaker of 17 music documentaries including: The High Lonesome SoundEnd of an Old SongMusical HoldoutsMountain Music of Peru, and Pericles In America, among others.