Madeleine Albright’s Pin Collection at Smithsonian

The pin collection of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright – current President of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation – will be on display at the Smithsonian Castle through September. See below for two events open to the public.

From The Washington Post‘s Reliable Source Blog:

Read My pins

What has Madeleine Albright been wearing while her famous pin collection is touring the country? “Pity pins — because people feel sorry for me,” said the former secretary of state.

Albright’s signature accessory — some precious gems, most costume pieces — were collected together last year for her book, “Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box,” and a two-year traveling show. The exhibit of 200 pins opens Friday at the Smithsonian Castle; Albright previewed it for reporters Tuesday.

With her jewelry on the road, friends and fans have given her all sorts of replacements. “I’ve signed books for people wearing pins and I’d say, ‘Gee, that’s a really nice pin.’ Then they take it off and give it to me, so I don’t say that anymore.” 

What happens to the collection when the tour ends? The 73-year-old, wearing a “V” for Victory and two World War II vintage pins, said she’s just starting to think about the question: “The only person who’s connected the dots on this is my youngest granddaughter, who said, ‘Who’s going to get all this stuff?’ I’m trying to figure out who really would like it and how this would all work.” 


Book Signing

Sunday, July 25; 2 to 4 p.m.

Secretary Albright will sign copies of her book, Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box, in the Commons (West Wing) of the Smithsonian Castle. Copies of the book may be preordered by calling the Castle store at (202) 633-0030 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Books may be picked up one week before the event. Smithsonian members will receive a discount. 

Discussion with Secretary Albright

Tuesday, Sept. 14; noon

The Smithsonian Associates will present an on-stage discussion with Secretary Albright to discuss “Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection.” A book signing will follow the event. Complete program information will be posted on The Smithsonian Associates website in July.

Read more about the collection and events.

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