It's not unusual to place some sort of significance on a piece of jewelry, which might be an heirloom, keepsake or memento -- or all three. But for former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who served under President Bill Clinton, her baubles -- some priceless and some paste -- signify much more. For her, they worked as mood indicators and sent subtle messages. A new touring exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection, explains those personal connections by presenting more than 200 of Albright's brooches with absorbing documentation.
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"First of all, they're just fabulous pins," says DAM director of education Melora McDermott-Lewis. "But what's great about the show is the combination of fascinating pins and the stories that go with them. Every pin, or sometimes a group of them, includes a story. Here was this smart, talented woman, the highest-ranking woman in the U.S., using her pins as a tool for communicating. It was her way of taking the 'foreign' out of foreign policy in a personal and humorous way." So this show is as much a window into the world of Madeleine Albright -- whose Denver ties are well documented in the exhibit -- as it is a display of brooches.
A fitting companion to the YSL blockbuster already under way, Read My Pins opens today and continues through June 17 at the DAM, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway. Museum admission ranges from $3 to $10; for information, visit www.denverartmuseum.org or call 720-865-5000.
April 15-June 17, 2012