Sunday, April 23, 2017

04.24.17 Read My Pins (and GET OFF MY LAWN)

I don't get very many comments on the blog, but when I do - I also get an email notification - and I do a little happy dance...until recently...

After I wrote about the Women's March and my pink pussy cat pendant, someone left a comment that said (essentially) I should stick to jewelry and leave politics out of it (not unlike telling the Dixie Chicks to "shut up and sing").

I deleted the comment (because it was rude, and it IS my blog) and considered sending a private message to the person who posted, but then thought better of it - and I'm putting my response right here - on the blog.

Photo credit:
Jewelry doesn't have to be political - but it certainly can be - and there is no better example of the use of jewelry to make a statement than former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Let me confess right now that I am a huge admirer of Secretary Albright. When her memoir, Madame Secretary, came out I bought and read it immediately.  After reading it, I was so moved that I wrote her a letter. Well, damned if she didn't write me back and send me a bookplate. I treasure that bookplate and her gracious letter.

Years later, after she finished her term as Secretary of State, she wrote another book, Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box, in which she describes how she used different pieces of jewelry to express herself as America's most senior diplomat.

On the inside flap of the book jacket she writes:

"Before long and without intending it, I found that jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal.  Former President George H.W. Bush had been know for saying 'Read my lips'. I began urging colleagues to 'Read my pins.'"

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I was fortunate to be able to see the exhibit of pins at the Smithsonian in 2010, just after the book was published - and I spent hours looking at the over 200 pieces of jewelry.

The brooches run the range from molded resin, to plated metal department store costume pieces, to this exquisite diamond encrusted panther from Cartier.
Photo credit: Katel Riou, Cartier

The exhibit of pins continues to travel - it is currently in California at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library through late June.  If it comes to a museum near you, I encourage you to go see it - for both the rich lesson in political history and the beautiful jewelry.

Until next time.

P.S. In support of the March for Science, from now until the end of April - purchase the Cherry Pi or one of 3 Chem Lab pendants currently featured in my Etsy shop and I will donate $20 from each sale to the Nature Conservancy.

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