Betty Cooke b. 1924

Betty Cooke was born in Baltimore in 1924 and attended the Maryland Institute College of Art, graduating in 1946 and teaching there until 1968. Betty Cooke began her career designing furniture, handbags, and household accessories. When she began designing jewelry, she drove around the country trying to sell her jewelry designs to museums and shops that carried the designs of Knoll and Herman Miller, as very few boutiques for modernist jewelry existed at the time. Her works have much in common with the clean, organic simplicity and “good design” ethos of American modernism; the influences of the New Bauhaus, Harry Bertoia, Isamu Noguchi and fellow jewelry designer Margaret De Patta are felt in Cooke’s stylish, approachable works, which often feature kinetic elements and combinations of different metals and woods. The Store Ltd., which Cooke established with her husband in 1965, still exists today in Baltimore. Her work is held in collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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