Only the most fortunate can avoid the sharp pain of a broken heart in this life. For everyone else, each ended relationship leaves a trail of memories – some sweet, some less so. The Museum of Broken Relationships showcases society’s breakup stories from countries all over the globe, in a unique display of artifacts and storytelling.
After ending their four-year relationship, Croatian artists Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić launched a global crowd-sourced project “with the sole purpose of treasuring and sharing heartbreak stories and symbolic possessions.” The project’s first permanent location was established in Zagreb, Croatia and went on to win the EMYA Kenneth Hudson Award in 2010 as “The Most Innovative and Daring Museum Project in Europe.”
In 2016, the art project found its second permanent home in Los Angeles, California, where Hollywood visitors can peruse an eclectic array of personal items, donated by people from all over the world. Each piece is accompanied by a story of the relationship’s beginning and tragic end.
Despite the fatality of each featured relationship, however, the stories are not always sad. The curators encourage potential exhibit submitters to follow these guidelines: “The story is your own creation, your personal confession, the display caption accompanying the item you are entrusting us with or a pinned text on our world map. Be frank, withdrawn, furious, imaginative, witty or sad. Through your story you create the museum display – the story is your stage.”
As long as there are broken hearts to be mended and wild tales of exes to be told, the Museum of Broken Relationships will offer a voyeuristic peek into the poignant, private secrets of fractured romances from all over the world.