I was bereft to hear of Marilyn F. Cooperman's passing on August 19th. Her creativity and signature style have left a void in the firmament of the New York jewelry world. She was born in Canada in 1936, and began her jewelry career with the encouragement of the legendary Fred Leighton in 1994. She had a vivacious personality, a love of beauty and she adored people. Her signature style makes her work memorable and easy to recognize. While I knew she had been unwell for some time, I, like so many whose lives she touched, was still heartbroken to hear the news.
She decided to pursue being a jewelry designer at a time when women had a limited set of options. But she had that New York chutzpah, a soupçon of insouciance and style in spades. Our relationship began when we both served on the board of the American Society of Jewelry Historians (ASJH), and I'm so grateful for her friendship. She was a mentor to me and many other young people, always encouraging us and cheering us on. She lived the adage: Lift as you climb.
A few years before her health deteriorated, she entrusted me with her archive, in the form of a scrapbook compiled lovingly over decades, which includes copies of her letterhead, her work as featured in magazines and her original sketches. I'll be presenting a memorial tribute to Marilyn and her work during Jewelry Week (November 16-22). Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be added to the rsvp list for the event.