Yves Saint Laurent retrospective is feature at Denver Art Museum

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Yves Saint Laurent retrospective is feature at Denver Art Museum

“Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective” is on display through July 8 at the Denver Art Museum in downtown Denver.
There are 40 different examples of Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic tuxedos on display in the Denver Art Museum’s retrospective of the legendary designer.
She wore her heart on her lapels

A gold snake, a rhinestone spider, a chunky heart pin made by a child. These are three pieces of costume jewelry in an unusual display of over 200 at the Denver Art Museum.
“Read My Pins” is the title of the exhibit, the same title as Madeleine Albright’s 2009 book about an unusual chapter in American diplomacy. Almost from the moment Albright was sworn in as the first woman to serve as Secretary of State on Jan. 23, 1997, she unleashed a new diplomatic tool. She began wearing different pins to meetings to signal a mood, express a point of view or invite dialogue.
The exhibition examines the collection as historical and political documents. You’ll learn a lot about American foreign policy as you wander through the display. Grouped by subject matter – insects, flowers, animals, patriotic subjects and the like – the pins trigger stories behind the pieces and Albright’s decision to wear them at specific times.
In her book, Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box, Albright recounts many episodes. Once she began the practice of purposefully choosing pins for high-powered meetings, world diplomats were on the alert to pay attention.
When she became the 64th secretary of state of the United States, Albright was the highest ranking woman in government. She quickly found that something as innocuous as a piece of costume jewelry could spark a not-so-casual conversation in tense diplomatic situations. Soon, she said, she began to deliberately choose certain pins for particular occasions. For example, after she heard that Saddam Hussein had commented her cunning intelligence, a bit like a “serpent,” she thought about pin diplomacy. Before an upcoming diplomatic mission to Iraq, Albright said in a television interview featured in the exhibition, she deliberately wore a particular gold pin. It prominently featured a snake slithering along a branch. Hussein noticed and commented.
That pin is in the exhibit along with countless others, each with a bit of American history attached. Albright wore a large, dramatic tiger pin when she met with Nelson Mandela to clearly communicate her respect for the man whose life has changed South Africa. And on the personal side, Albright admitted that every Valentine’s Day she wears a heart-shaped pin. Obviously made by a child, the pin is dear to Albright’s heart, she said. It was made by a child years ago – one of her three daughters.
Who would have thought costume jewelry would factor in international relations in the 20th century?
In this remarkable exhibit, which is touring the country, Albright’s pins present an interesting sidebar to American history that’s well worth reading.

If you Go

Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective, through July 8. Admission: $22 adult, $18 senior/student, $14 youth.
Read My Pins, an exhibition of Madeleine Albright’s diplomatic jewelry, through June 17. General admission: $10 adult, $8 senior/student, $3 youth.
Museum hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, closed Monday, Open July 4. The museum is located at 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver.
For more information, visit www.denverartmuseum.org or call (720) 865-5000.

Yves Saint Laurent retrospective is feature at Denver Art Museum

“Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective” is on display through July 8 at the Denver Art Museum in downtown Denver.
There are 40 different examples of Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic tuxedos on display in the Denver Art Museum’s retrospective of the legendary designer.
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