READ MY PINS: The Madeleine Albright Collection

Now open until June 25, 2017

Read My Pins presents a remarkable range of more than 200 pins and brooches from the personal collection of Madeleine Albright. The majority of these pieces were collected and worn during Albright’s service as US Ambassador to the United Nations (1993–1997) and as the first female Secretary of State (1997–2001), under President Bill Clinton. The assortment is eclectic, international, and representative of nearly a century of jewelry design. Yet the jewelry’s true interest lies not in their materials or monetary value but in the roles they played during her government service: Albright used her pins as silent yet visually outspoken codes to foreign officials and the press. Pins could be adopted for various reasons—a shining sun or a patriotic flag would reinforce a positive alliance with the United States, for example, whilemore difficult negotiations might bring out wasps or snakes. These objects became delicate instruments with which she applied pressure during intense negotiations, and into which she invested humor as she represented the United States on the international stage.


Madeleine Albright wearing her Peace Dove, Cecile et Jeanne

This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Arts and Design. Generous support for the exhibit was provided by Bren Simon, and by St. John Knits for “Read My Pins: Stories from A Diplomat’s Jewel Box.”  


Source: Ronald Reagan Library Foundation, visit at
All proceeds benefit the Reagan Library



The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum
1-805 577-4000 or 1-800-410-8354