Elaine LustigCohen

Elaine Lustig Cohen was at the forefront of graphic design and marketing with her modernist combinations of typography and photomontage. Cohen studied at Tulane University under the renowned Bauhaus master László Moholy-Nagy before earning her degree at the University of Southern California, where she met her first husband, Alvin Lustig, who was greatly respected for his avant-garde typography and design. Cohen became her husband’s assistant and as he lost his eyesight, she took over more and more of the work. After his death in 1955, Cohen moved to New York, where she designed book covers for Meriden, Doubleday, and other publishers, as well as architectural signage for museums and notable buildings. Cohen also painted in an abstract constructivist style that echoed her modernist commercial work and exhibited widely—in 1979, she was the first woman to show at the Mary Boone Gallery, and in 1985, she had a retrospective at the famed Exit Art in New York. In 1995, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum held a major retrospective of her graphic work. In 1972, Cohen and her second husband, theologian and writer Arthur Cohen, opened Ex Libris, a bookstore specializing in rare books on the European avant-garde.

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Elaine Lustig Cohen in her New York City home, 1966. Photo by Ugo Mulas, courtesy of Elaine Lustig Cohen.

Date of Birth

Jersey City, NJ
United States

Date of Death
Artist, Entrepreneur, Founder

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Elaine Lustig Cohen." (Viewed on June 18, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/cohen-elaine>.


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