Wearing brooches is the common theme everyday of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She made wearing pins her sticking point after the Iraqi government called her an “unparalleled serpent.” Albright boldly responded by wearing a golden serpent pen at her next meeting with the Iraqis. “I found that jewelry had become part of my diplomatic arsenal,” reveals Albright.
Her collection has grown to include hundreds of pins including both costume and antique pieces. From bugs to flowers and doves to flags, each piece delivers a deliberate message. While in Denver to introduce her 200 piece personal collection on display at the Denver Art Museum, Albright wore a cowboy boot brooch to represent her home state and where she bought her first pair of boots in high school.
Albright says the pressure to wear pins can be overwhelming. “We’ve basically created a problem. When I exercise it’s not a good time to wear pins.” But when she is wearing them you can always tell her mood. She discovered the power of jewelry to convey a foreign policy message. They express high hopes, determination, impatience and warm feelings. Simply, her pins have a purpose.
” Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection” is at the Denver
Art Museum through June 17.
Public tours are available weekdays at two and weekends at 3.
Visit denverartmuseum.org to purchase tickets