Professor Jean-Louis Cohen has been appointed the inaugural Penelope Visiting Professor in Architectural History at the University of Sydney, through which he will lead a two-year program of research and public events in the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning.

First announced in 2019, Professor Cohen’s appointment and his time in Sydney has been delayed by COVID-19. He plans to visit Sydney in 2022, however in the meantime he will work with colleagues at the University to stage a series of events (online and, eventually, in person) exploring the themes of his research.

The visiting position has been created through the generosity of Penelope Seidler. Her gift enables the University to bring outstanding scholars of international stature to Sydney to conduct research and curate a public program to foster discussion and debate in the history of architecture.

It recognises the value of robust scholarship to a truly innovative architectural culture and addresses the challenge of cultivating a broad public for work that reimagines the roles of buildings and cities in responding to social, cultural, and technical challenges, global as well as local.

Cohen is among the world’s foremost experts on the history of modern architecture and urbanism. He is the Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture at New York University’s Institute for Fine Arts and Chair of Architecture and Urban Form at the Collège de France, in Paris.

In France, he led the establishment of the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine at the Palais de Chaillot from 1997 to 2003. His exhibitions have been staged at the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), the Centre Pompidou, MAXXI (Rome), and the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. Extending his extensive bibliography, he has published in 2020 the first of the eight volumes of the complete works of Frank O. Gehry.

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