Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Search this
Maryland was this year's featured State, and programming focused in particular on three themes: water, horse, and metal traditions, selected on the basis of their richness and significance within the State.
As the Nation's leading "fishing hole," the Chesapeake Bay, home of the last remaining commercial sailing fleet still in operation in the United States, has clusters of skilled craftspeople and fisherfolk whose Iives are part of the waters and their yield. At Hains Point in West Potomac Park, and thanks to the assistance and cosponsorship of the National Park Service, the Festival showed ships and crafts related to the Chesapeake waterways. The history of these and other crafts could be seen in the National Museum of History and Technology's Hall of Maritime History.
The breeding, training, and racing of horses is one of Maryland's largest industries and, like the watermen, those who work with horses carry some of the most carefully guarded traditions and skills to be found in oral tradition. Visitors could see demonstrations of different breeds as well as skills such as dressage; other presentations explored the traditions associated with fox hunting, horse pulls, mounted police officers and fruit vendors and their horse-drawn carts.
The Nation's oldest silversmith, Samuel Kirk and Son, its largest producer of pewter ware, Steiff Co., and numerous skilled metal workers in copper, brass, iron, and tin are all to be found in Maryland. Hand skills, learned through apprenticeship, are the mainstay of these industries and they provided a natural link between the cottage industries and the Union Workers' exhibits. Festival visitors could see demonstrations of Maryland metal crafts such as brass and iron founding, pewter and silversmithing, tin and coppersmithing. "Museum Guide" signs at the Festival directed visitors to similar and sometimes identical products of this craftsmanship in the National Museum of History and Technology.
Crafts and music presentations from rural Maryland and its largest city, Baltimore, rounded out the program. A large community of Greek Americans from the Highlandtown neighborhood of Baltimore presented the celebratory traditions of the village of Olymbos on the island of Karpathios, from which they had immigrated over the previous half-century, and particularly since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.
The Maryland program was made possible through the sponsorship of the Governor of Maryland, the Department of Economic and Community Development, the Maryland National Relations Office, and National Brewing Company. The Maryland Waterways presentation at Hains Point was co-sponsored by the National Park Service and the Smithsonian Institution.
Paul Diggs, Ben Evans, Carol Hackney, John A. Hostetler, Richard Hulan, Martin Koenig, Jean du Pont McConnell, M. Gail Moran, Gerald Parsons, Maxine Perlmutter, Alta Schrock, Richard Spottswood, Georgine Winslett, Ethel Raim-Zinser
Charles Abbott, skipjack captain of "Thomas Clyde," built 1911, Maryland
Paul Benton, skipjack captain of "Geneva May," built 1908, Maryland
Henry Brown, sail maker, Deal Island, Maryland
Walter Carrion, trainer, Chesapeake Bay retrievers, Ellicott City, Maryland
Melvin Christy, skipjack captain of "Bernice J.," built 1904, Maryland
Calvin E. Crouch, 1922-1997, boat builder, Maryland
Calvin E. Crouch, Jr., boat builder, Maryland
Earl Daniels, crab scrape maker, Maryland
Frank B. Daniels, sail maker, Maryland
Arthur Dierker, waterfowl guide, net and fyke maker, Maryland
Hazel Downey, 1914-1994, net and fyke maker, Rock Hall, Maryland
Newton Downey, 1888-1975, decoy carver, Rock Hall, Maryland
Johnny Evans, waterman, Maryland
Captain Carl Huffman, waterman, Maryland
Alex Kellam, 1908-1986, waterman, Maryland
Dewey Landon, 1898-1976, waterman, Maryland
Charlton Marshall, 1900-1973, boat model maker, Maryland
Captain Roland Parks, 1914-1985, muskrat trapper, Maryland
Lesley Schunick, cooper, Maryland
George Taylor, skipjack captain of "Annie Lee," built 1912, Maryland
Zack Taylor, 1901-1978, Maryland
Clifton Webster, 1897-1987, skipjack captain of "Maggie Lee," built 1903, Maryland
Robert H. Burgess
Burton Cimino, silver engraver, Maryland
Harry M. Evans, 1924-, brass founder, Easton, Maryland
Nelson Kratz, 1911-1994, silver chaser, Maryland
William Lane, 1897-1977, blacksmith, Easton, Maryland
Clear View Farm, demonstration of Shires coaching and hunting horn demonstration -- Clear View Farm, demonstration of Shires coaching and hunting horn demonstrationHoward StreakerHoward Streaker, Jr.
Cold Saturday Morgan Farm, demonstration of Morgans -- Cold Saturday Morgan Farm, demonstration of MorgansMrs. H. H. Hackney, MarylandCarol Hackney, MarylandKelly Marsh, MarylandSharon Port, MarylandNancy Radtke, Maryland
Access by appointment only. Where a listening copy or viewing copy has been created, this is indicated in the respective inventory; additional materials may be accessible with sufficient advance notice and, in some cases, payment of a processing fee. Older papers are housed at a remote location and may require a minimum of three weeks' advance notice and payment of a retrieval fee. Certain formats such as multi-track audio recordings and EIAJ-1 videoreels (1/2 inch) may not be accessible. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at 202-633-7322 or email@example.com for additional information.
Copyright and other restrictions may apply. Generally, materials created during a Festival are covered by a release signed by each participant permitting their use for personal and educational purposes; materials created as part of the fieldwork leading to a Festival may be more restricted. We permit and encourage such personal and educational use of those materials provided digitally here, without special permissions. Use of any materials for publication, commercial use, or distribution requires a license from the Archives. Licensing fees may apply in addition to any processing fees.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1972 Festival of American Folklife, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.
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.
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:
Betty Cooke (1924- ) is a jeweler and metalsmith of Baltimore, Maryland. Jan Yager is a jeweler from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 2 min.
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.