Wellesley residents invited to read Madeleine Albright’s pins for free

Serpent Pin, circa 1860. Designer unknown. Photo by John Bigelow Taylor
Serpent Pin, circa 1860. Designer unknown. Photo by John Bigelow Taylor


During her career, Madeleine Albright, a Wellesley College graduate and US Secretary of State from 1997 through 2001, famously used her jewelry to convey diplomatic messages.  Wellesley residents are invited to learn how she managed these feats of symbolism tomorrow, June 4, during Free Neighborhood Day, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. at Wellesley College’s Davis Museum.   Get reserve tickets for this event at  www.showclix.com/event/3822792

I was allowed to take a peek yesterday (but not take any photos), and I have to say, the exhibit of over 200 pins blew me away.  What I suspected was going to be little more interesting than browsing the jewelry department at Lord & Taylor turned out to be a rare look at a true collector’s way of approaching her wardrobe choices and her career. Imagine getting up day after day, standing in front of your closet, and deciding which sober suit you should wear.  But then, imagine making your peace with that closetful of drab because you had figured out a way to game the power-suit system.  Your pins.

Anything Albright wanted to say with pins, she could.  For sending a message of peace, there were dove pins.  To remind her colleagues that they carried the weight of the world on their shoulders, there was an Atlas pin.  To discuss the possibility of military action, who would think about attending a meeting without their rocket-propelled grenade launcher pin?  If she felt like the meeting required some finesse, Albright could pull out her Teddy Roosevelt pin, signifying that although she might speak softly, she was carrying a big stick.

Can’t remember if she had a dollar sign pin, but we all know what that one would say to Wellesley residents.  Go tomorrow or you’ll have to pay up.

If you can’t catch the exhibit tomorrow, the pins will still be there for you from June 9 through July 20, 2014.  The Davis Museum, which is normally free and therefore the best bargain in town, is charging for this exhibit.  Timed tickets are required and available at  www.theDavis.org  Tickets are $18 for adults, and $9 for seniors (65+).  Children (18 and under), and all students with a valid ID are free.

If you want to scorn the pins and just wander the museum’s galleries, you can still do that for free.

On Monday, June 16 at 7 p.m., Secretary Albright will give a free talk and book signing at Wellesley College’s Alumnae Hall.    Free reserved tickets are required for the talk and are available at www.theDavis.org.