Modernist Jewel: Betty Cooke

Curator: Karin Fong
date: March 11, 2013
Categories: Entertainment Design
Tags: jewelry
Betty’s drawing, as reprinted in a catalog.

The class that I’d like to go back to school and take is sculpture. So many times, I find myself coveting objects that embody movement and playfulness—animated forms in waiting. Betty Cooke’s jewelry does just that. 

While visiting MICA earlier this year, I could not help noticing the wonderfully architectural earrings and necklaces that adorned many of my dinner companions. And it turned out the designer was right at the end of the table. The next day, I made a pilgrimage to The Store, where owners Betty and her husband Bill Steinmetz gave me a tour of her simple, witty pieces. Her body of work is over 50 years strong and still going. And that’s the beauty of it; Betty’s pieces are distinctively modernist, with the flair of eras past, but never dated. The designs push and pull at being current and classic at the same time. Easier said than done.

If I could choose just one? A fan of polka dots; I couldn’t help but gravitate towards a circular motif.

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