January 21: Madeleine Albright "Read My Pins" Exhibition Private Docent Tour at Legion of Honor


Join us at the Legion of Honor on Saturday, January 21st at 9am for a private docent tour of the Madeleine Albright Read My Pins collection. Tickets will be available at a discounted rate of $12 (or free for members of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) plus a small transaction fee. Tour will begin promptly at 9:00 am.
Meet at the glass doors adjacent to the café, on the north face of the building (to your right as you face the front of the museum). The duration of the tour will be about one hour and then the group will be welcome to roam the museum in areas accessible with General Admission tickets.
Purchase your ticket here.

Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection
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 political 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, while more difficult negotiations might bring out wasps or snakes.

Albright served the US government during a remarkable period in history, and many of the notable landmarks of her tenure can be decoded through the visual iconography of her pins. These pieces document and symbolize moments of political upheaval and also convey the patriotism of this Czechoslovakian-born diplomat. Whereas George H. W. Bush famously said “Read my lips” to convey a campaign promise, Albright encouraged, “Read my pins,” demonstrating that jewelry had become part of her personal diplomatic arsenal. 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.

Please contact the event organizer Caroline Dougherty '12 (via email using the link to the left) with any questions about the event.