Stargazing

Pin this one on Madame Secretary

Madeleine Albright

, a tenacious negotiator, loved to communicate her mood and intentions in a more subtle way — through her brooches.

Now the Museum of Arts Design in New York is planning the first ever exhibition of her pin collection, featuring some 200 of her favorites, including the golden snake pin she wore after Saddam Hussein’s government called her a serpent.

"Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection" is scheduled to run From Sept. 30 through Jan. 21, 2010.

Albright "found that what she wore and how she presented herself had a lot of interpretive meaning to those she was with," said

Holly Hotchner

, the museum’s director. "The pins became an added way that she communicated as secretary of state."

Albright is now a professor at Georgetown University.

The collection is diverse, ranging from a series of pins dealing with Americana — including flags and eagles — to ones with flora, fauna and insect themes. She always brought a selection with her so she could be ready for any situation.

For instance, Albright chose to wear a bee pin whenever she felt talks amounted to "something like a sting," said

David Revere McFadden

, the museum’s chief curator.

When she thought negotiations would likely go well, she would wear a balloon pin. Another pin, made of stainless steel, shows the head of Lady Liberty with two watch faces for eyes, one of which is upside down. The pin allows both her and others to check the time.

The exhibition will travel to several cities after its New York stay, accompanied by a book,

Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box
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