Betty Cooke

1 piece(s) in the gallery

"In the beginning I wanted to be a sculptor, but this was during the war, and after the war there weren't many avenues for that, so I thought, well, I'll earn a living and so I've been doing that ever since with jewelry."

- Betty Cooke, June 11, 2001

Betty Cooke, born in Maryland, 5 May 1924, still a central component of her craft, produces jewelry with an unmistakable, signature style. However, if the definition of what makes a three dimensional art object a sculpture needs to be revised, then it would include Betty Cooke as a sculptor. Size is of little importance when considering the intricate, often delicate, designs of Cooke's jewelry. "She is a perfectionist; everything has to be logical and clear, and if it's held together with something it has to be decorative, nothing is hidden."

Cooke received formal training in metal working from a local jeweler during her time at the Maryland Institute, College of Art. Upon graduation with a bachelor in fine arts in 1946 she was hired on by the institute to teach welding to World War II veterans returning home. She would remain in this position for twenty years before utilizing the first floor of her own townhouse as her first retail space. By 1965 she had opened The Store Ltd., which remains open to this day.

Betty Cooke is a prolific jewelry artist. Over the years she has always maintained her integrity as a designer, and almost without exception her pieces are made completely by hand.

To date she has been honored by the De Beers Diamonds Today Award, the Alumni Medal of Honor from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, and been featured in numerous exhibitions.

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