Alfred Cohen was born in Dinslaken, Germany on June 22, 1885. In 1928, he and his cousin Max Cohen took over the renowned luxury department store Maison de Bonneterie in Amsterdam that was founded in 1889 by his uncle Joseph Cohen. In 1940 the business was Aryanized, and in 1942 he emigrated to New York. Cohen’s significant collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings was confiscated by the Nazis. After the war, much of the collection was recovered, and Cohen died on May 1, 1950.