How Madeleine Albright used meaningful brooches to convey foreign policy messages

Madelaine Albright, the American diplomat who served as the 64th United States Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton, died yesterday at the age of 84. In addition to making history as America’s first female secretary of state in the wake of the cold war, she also conveyed political pronouncements and moods through her choice of Fashion Accessoriesthat is to say her brooches.

In 2009 Albright wrote a memory titled Read My pins: Stories from a diplomat’s jewelry box who talks about her long political career and the diplomatic history she made using jewelry.

Later, an exhibition titled Read My Pins: The Madelaine Albright Collection was curated by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York with 50 panel pins and 12 freestanding pins, all of different shapes, forms and designs to communicate the Secretary’s sense of humor, wit and diplomatic messages through the expressive quality of jewelry.


The collection also includes the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to Albright by President Barack Obama in 2012 as well as items from the filming of the TV show. lady secretary. The exhibition was presented from 2009 to 2018 in 22 presidential libraries and museums.

Madeleine Albright A colorful and playful insect brooch. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

In a 2010 interview with Smithsonian Magazine, Albright recounted how she started using jewelry as a diplomatic prop: “It all started when I was at the United Nations. It was just after the Gulf War and the United States was pushing for resolutions sanctioning Iraq. During this time, I had something horrible to say about Saddam Hussein every day, which he deserved because he invaded Kuwait. The Iraqi government-controlled media then compared me to a “peerless snake”. I happened to have a snake pin and wore it to my next meeting on Iraq. When the press asked me about it, I thought, “Well, that’s fun.” I was the only woman on the Security Council, and I decided to buy more costume jewelry. On good days, I carried flowers, butterflies and balloons, and on bad days, all kinds of insects and carnivorous animals. I saw it as an additional way of expressing what I was saying, a visual way of delivering a message.

In the same interview, Albright also spoke about the brooch that caught the attention of Russian President Vladimir Putin: “When I went to Russia with President Bill Clinton for a summit, I wore a pin with the inscription ‘don’t not hear, see no evil”. , evil monkeys, because the Russians never talked about what really happened during their conflict with Chechnya. Putin asked why I wore these monkeys. I said , because of your policy in Chechnya. He was not amused. I probably went too far.

Madeleine Albright Madelaine Albright wearing two flower brooches. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)


His collection includes statement brooches like a Christmas tree in the colors of the American flag, a golden snake brooch, a golden bird with a pearl, playful button figurines, an intricate crescent moon motif, the American seal, a statue colorful Liberty, and many Sequel.

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