At 97, preeminent jewelry designer Betty Cooke is still inspired to create

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On a blustery afternoon in October, not long after her exhibition opened, I sat with Cooke in the courtyard outside the Store Limited, the shop that she opened in North Baltimore in 1965 with her husband and business partner, the late artist William O. Steinmetz. The store, which carries clothes, home goods and her jewelry line, turned Cooke into a beacon of style. She was one of the first, for instance, to import the bold, graphic mid-century Finnish fabrics of Marimekko to the city. Cooke still embodies the refined and confident aesthetic for which she is known; on the day we met, she wore a charcoal tunic layered with one of her signature neck-to-waist-length tubular gold necklaces.

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