Oral history interview with Betty Cooke

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.cooke04
Creators:
Cooke, Betty, 1924-
Yager, Jan, 1951-
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2004 July 1-2
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
132 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Betty Cooke conducted 2004 July 1-2, by Jan Yager, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Scope and Contents
Cooke speaks of her family and growing up in Baltimore, Maryland; taking art classes in high school; attending the Maryland Institute, College of Art; apprenticing in a jeweler's studio; teaching design at the Maryland Institute; buying a house and setting up a studio and shop in it; showing her work in the MoMA "Good Design" Exhibition; marrying fellow artist Bill Steinmetz; working as a design consultant; designing interiors for bowling alleys and restaurants; early jewelry designs; studying one summer at Cranbrook Academy of Art; selling works in various galleries; her interest in folk art; using wood and stones in her pieces; creating a wall mural for a school; working with the Rouse Company; opening The Store Ltd. at Cross Keys and designing the modern interior; her trademark designs; making jewelry on commission; and showing her work in exhibitions. Cooke also speaks of her current studio space and routine; sketching designs; documenting her work; traveling to Mexico, China, Morocco, and London; her current involvement with the Maryland Institute, College of Art; renovating a barn for a new studio; the function and wearability of her jewelry; having a retrospective show in 1995; designing for Geoffrey Beene; her interest in painting and sculpture; defining design versus craft; the market for jewelry; how her work has changed over time; sources of inspiration; collecting objects; deciding to go into retail; choosing metals and tools; masculine and feminine jewelry; and being a female artist. Cooke also recalls Margaret De Patta, Harry Bertoia, Philip Morton, George Nakashima, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Betty Cooke (1924- ) is a jeweler and metalsmith of Baltimore, Maryland. Jan Yager is a jeweler from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

General
General
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 2 min.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Decorative arts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jewelers -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios Function Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Beene, Geoffrey Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bertoia, Harry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Patta, Margaret, 1903-1964 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Morton, Philip Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Steinmetz, Bill Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maryland Institute, College of Art -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maryland Institute, College of Art -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/