"Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection" Exhibition

Museum of Arts & Design

poster for "Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection" Exhibition

This event has ended.

The first major museum exhibition of jewelry from the personal collection of Madeleine Albright, "Read My Pins" features more than 200 pins, many of which Secretary Albright wore to communicate a message or a mood during her diplomatic tenure. The exhibition examines the collection for its historic significance as well as the expressive power of jewelry and its ability to communicate through a style and language of its own. In 1997, Albright was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. While serving under President Bill Clinton, first as U.S ambassador to the United Nations, and then as Secretary of State, Albright became known for wearing brooches that purposefully conveyed her views about the situation at hand. "I found that jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal," Secretary Albright has said. "While President George H.W. Bush had been known for saying 'Read my lips,' I began urging colleagues and reporters to 'Read my pins.'"

The collection that Secretary Albright cultivated is distinctive and democratic-sometimes demure and understated, sometimes outlandish and outspoken-spanning more than a century of jewelry design and including fascinating pieces from across the globe. The works on view are chosen for their symbolic value, and while some are fine antiques, many are costume jewelry. "Read My Pins" will explore the stories behind these works and their historical and artistic significance.

[Image: Gijs Bakker "Liberty Brooch" Sterling silver, watches (1997) Photo: John Bigelow Taylor]



from September 30, 2009 to January 31, 2010

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