GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - One of the most influential women in the history of U.S. politics is in Grand Rapids this week, discussing the links between her jewelry and diplomacy.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright speaks Tuesday and Wednesday the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum. The Museum's new exhibit Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection just opened and runs through April 21.
Albright was known for her signature pins that made a statement to the world leaders she came in contact with, first as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and then Secretary of State.
"On good days I wore flowers and butterflies and balloons, on bad days all kinds of insects like bees... it was just kind of fun it allowed me to tell stories, and then all of a sudden it became its own thing," said Albright.
In a news release, the Ford Museum noted, "Albright's pins were worn to signify hope, emphasize the importance of a negotiation, protest the absence of progress, and demonstrate her pride in America. Most jewelry enthusiasts focus their attention on the preciousness of the material, such as gold, silver, rubies, and diamonds. However, Albright's pins are, for the most part, ordinary in their monetary value, and made from common materials like metal, plastic, and glass. This makes Albright's collection of pins similar to one anyone could own - they are truly 'pins of the people.' Unlike most collectors who set out with specific tastes or goals in mind, Albright allowed her collection to grow organically in relation to changing experiences and opportunities in both her career and personal life."