Read My Pins

Part illustrated memoir, part social history, READ MY PINS, published in conjunction with the Museum of Arts and Design’s first major exhibition of jewelry from the collection of Madeleine K. Albright, captures the wit and expressive nature of the pins Albright wore as she met with world leaders and represented her country in formal and informal settings across the globe. Among other purposes, Albright used pins to emphasize the importance of a negotiation, to signify high hopes, to protest delays in taking action, and to show pride in the traditions of her office. It is little wonder that international counterparts were pleased to see her appear at meetings with a shimmering sun on her jacket or a cheerful ladybug; less so when she wore an ill-tempered crab or a menacing wasp.

As these pages reveal, Albright's collection is both international and democratic – dime-store pins share pride of place with designer creations and family heirlooms. Included is the snake pin she wore after being referred to as 'an unparalleled serpent' by Saddam Hussein's government controlled press, the antique eagle purchased to celebrate her appointment as Secretary of State, the zebra pin she wore when meeting Nelson Mandela, and the Valentine Day's heart made by her five-year-old daughter.