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Madeleine Albright Publishes Book on Brooches

Heres a really interesting web press release about Madeleine Albright who has published a book on brooch pins.

Madeleine Albright Publishes Book on Brooches
Madeleine Albright has published a new book titled Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box (Harper Collins, $40), which tracks how the country's first female secretary of state used brooches as symbols of her message to international counterparts.

Albright told Women's Wear Daily in an interview that she got the idea to use her pins during international negotiations after being dubbed an "unparalleled serpent" in a propagandistic Iraqi government poem in 1994. Albright wanted to send a subversive message of strength when meeting Iraqi officials, including Saddam Hussein. So during their meeting, she donned a gold pin depicting a snake coiled around a branch and a small diamond hanging from its mouth. The Iraqi officials and the press corps picked up on the message, and Albright realized she was onto something.

Albright took a liking to accessorizing with brooches when she discovered they could liven up her required regulation suits. Her collection of 300 pins, which is depicted in her book, includes everything from a button from John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign to more serious jewelry pieces, such as a gold and pink tourmaline Verdura brooch and a Cartier piece with moonstones, chalcedony, aquamarines and diamonds. Some of Albright's most politically notable pins include a gold dove pin given to her by Leah Rabin, wife of slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin; an enameled blue bird with diamonds that she began to wear with wings downward in 1996 when Fidel Castro's air force shot down four Cuban-American pilots in international air space off the Florida coast; and her "Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil" trio of pins used to chide Russian President Vladimir Putin for his failure to acknowledge human rights violations committed by the Russian military in the violence-plagued region of Chechnya.

Albright says her favorite brooch is a painted clay heart that her daughter Katie made as a child. "I wear it every Valentine's Day," she told WWD. "People say, 'Where did you get that?' and Katie, who's 40, says, 'You have got to tell people I made that when I was five.'"

The exhibit "Read My Pins: The Madeline Albright Collection" will be on view through Jan. 31, 2010, at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. The collection will then go on tour and appear at selected venues across the country.