The Circle and the Line

GBP £24.95



ISBN: 978-1-911282-77-8

96 Pages

180 x 205 mm (8 x 7 in)

190 colour

In association with The Walters Art Museum

September 2020


Features 160 pieces by the internationally acclaimed, Baltimore-based jeweller, Betty Cooke

“Cooke’s guiding principle is ‘less is more’; her pieces are described as wearable, minimalist sculpture – expressed through lines and angles”—The Jeweller, National Association of Jewellers

“Simple, Pure, Elegant”: Read about the designs of modernist jeweller Betty Cooke in The Magazine Antiques

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Betty Cooke (b. 1924) has been called variously “an icon within the tradition of modernist jewelry” and “a seminal figure in American Modernist studio jewelry.” Her work has been shown internationally and is included in a number of museum collections, including the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and the Museum of Arts & Design in New York. She is regarded as an important role model for other artists and craftspeople. Her jewellery style is influenced by Bauhaus and modernism, very simple and pure, both geometric and minimalist. Given her early aspirations to become a sculptor, it is not surprising that she thinks of her jewellery as “sculpture in motion”. Her pieces have been sold through museums and contemporary designers including Keegs in Seattle. Cooke has designed pieces for Kirk Stieff and for Geoffrey Beene’s shows in
New York and Milan.

This volume features a fully-illustrated checklist, “Reflections” by leading patrons and collectors of Cooke’s work, an illustrated time-line, a selected bibliography and a list of collections containing pieces by Betty Cooke.

Accompanies the exhibition Betty Cooke, The Circle and the Line, opening in September 2021 at The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD

Author biographies

Jeannine Falino is the guest curator of Betty Cooke, The Circle and the Line at The
Walters Art Museum

Edited by Eleanor Hughes, deputy director for Art and Program, The Walters Art Museum

Table of contents

  1. Director’s Foreword
  2. Curatorial Acknowledgments
  3. Reflection by Ellen Lupton
  4. Less is More by Jeannine Falino
  5. Notes
  6. Timeline
  7. Checklist
  8. Reflection by Nancy Rome
  9. Reflection by Laurin (Monk) B. Askew Jr.
  10. Reflection by Nan-Kirsten Forte
  11. Reflection by David and Joann Hayden
  12. Reflection by Betty Cooke
  13. Selected Reading
  14. Index
  15. Museum Collections