"Pin Diplomacy ~or~ MY EVENING WITH MADELEINE ALBRIGHT"
Yes, friends. I have stooped that low.
You see, I'd just purchased her book "Read My Pins" at Jewelry Camp in July. In fact, I was proudly displaying it in the store when it was brought to my attention she was soon to be appearing here, right in our own backyard! I quickly called, but so apparently had everyone else. The machine said, "If you're calling about the Madeleine Albright lecture, we're filled up..."
What to do! I checked StubHub. No luck. I took a deep breath and decided I simply must go, ticket or no ticket. (Perhaps there would be scalpers by the entrance?) So I scurried up to Hyde Park after work on 9/4, arriving just before the scheduled start time. The two kind ladies at the entrance felt sorry for me and let me in. Low and behold: the only seats left were the "reserved" seats about six feet from the Queen of Pins! I scrambled into the closest one. (I was so close I could count the stones on her large, magnificent American flag pin.)
While most of the attendees were interested in the many diplomatic pursuits of this most accomplished woman, I was fixated on her stories of pins. Big pins, little pins, gold pins, plastic pins. Simply, she was able to show very important people what she thought of them (and of the situation at hand) without muttering a word. Whereas men sometimes used neck ties, she used a little objet d'art to communicate at will. Sometimes, with someone she regarded as villainous, she wore a beautiful Victorian serphant pin. When a situation was complicated, the many tentacles of an octapus might adorn her suit. And there were times when a beautiful flower or a dove might be appropriate. As Former Secretary of State Albright explained, her use of pins simply made foreign policy less foreign.
It's not too late to see the exhibit. "The Madeleine Albright Collection" will be at the FDR Museum in Hyde Park until November 2, 2014. This special temporary exhibit was sponsored by the Library's non-profit partner, the Roosevelt Institute, and was organized by The Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.
Meanwhile, feast your eyes on just a few of the beautiful pins in our estate collection. If you wore one, what message would you be conveying?