FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications & Marketing
New Orleans Museum of Art
Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection
"Before long, and without intending it, I found that jewelry had become part of my diplomatic arsenal. Former president George H.W. Bush had been known for saying 'Read my lips.' I began encouraging colleagues and reporters to 'Read my pins.'" - Madeleine Albright
Tweet Release: "Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection" on display @NOMA1910 May 24 to Aug 14.
New Orleans, LA - On Monday, May 23, Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, one of the most influential women in the history of U.S. politics, will visit the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) for its launch of Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection, which features over 200 pins from her personal collection. The exhibition, organized by the Museum of Arts and Design, will be on display to the public at NOMA from May 24 to August 14.
During her tenure as a U.S. Ambassador to the UN and as U.S. Secretary of State, Albright made pins part of her diplomatic signature and used them as an unconventional means of communication when meeting with foreign leaders. Albright's pins were worn to signify hope, emphasize the importance of a negotiation, protest the absence of progress, and demonstrate her pride in America.
A highlight of the exhibition that will carry significant meaning in New Orleans is what Albright refers to as "the Katrina Pin." A gentleman whose mother died as a result of Hurricane Katrina gave Albright a flower pin composed of amethysts and diamonds. "I wear it as a reminder that jewelry's greatest value comes not from intrinsic materials or brilliant designs, but from the emotions we invest," Albright said.
Most jewelry enthusiasts focus their attention on the preciousness of the material, such as gold, silver, rubies, and diamonds. However, Albright's pins are for the most part ordinary in their monetary value, even in some cases made from common materials like metal, plastic, and glass. This makes Albright's collection of pins similar to one anyone could own - they are truly "pins of the people."
Unlike most collectors who set out with specific tastes or goals in mind, Albright allowed her collection to grow organically in relation to changing experiences and opportunities in both her career and personal life. The pins represent the events that have engaged Albright and provide a window into her past.
Albright's process of acquiring her pins also gives her collection a charming randomness and accessibility. By purchasing pins at jewelry stores and art galleries, as well as at craft fairs and flea markets, Albright was able to discover pins she felt spoke specifically to her.
The exhibition explores the stories behind these pieces and their historical and artistic significance. It is accompanied by a book, Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box (2009), published by HarperCollins, which also serves as the catalogue for the show.
Generous support for the exhibition in New Orleans has been provided by The Lupin Foundation; Peoples Health; children of Dorothy Cobb Levy, in memory of their mother; and the Windsor Court Hotel. Generous support for the original exhibition was provided by Bren Simon and for the exhibition catalogue by St. John Knits.
Monday, May 23 - Opening Events
2:30 p.m. - Press Preview
5 p.m. to 6 p.m. - Conversation with The Honorable Madeleine Albright & Mayor Mitchell Landrieu
[Open to the public, but seating is limited, please RSVP at (504) 658-4100]
6 p.m. - Exhibition preview followed by book signing
Tuesday, May 24 - Exhibition opens to the public
Wednesdays are FREE for all museum visitors. Adults, $10; Seniors (65 and up) and Students, $8; Children 7-17, $6; Children 6 and under, free. Free Wednesdays are made possible through the generosity of The Helis Foundation.
For more information, call (504) 658-4100 or visit www.noma.org.