The Museum of Broken Relationships is a collection of stories and images from people and their past relationships. Based in Croatia and Los Angeles, the museum, which is both a physical and virtual space, is a moving tribute to one of the most painful aspects of human experience.
Evoking a sense of nostalgia, at times a deep sense of sadness, each ‘artefact’ tells a personal but anonymous story of a past relationship. From letters to clothing and even more mundane objects like toasters, cameras and phones, the museum is an intimate glimpse into failed relationships.
In the museum’s own words, ‘unlike “destructive” self-help instructions for recovery from grief and loss, the Museum offers the chance to overcome an emotional collapse through creativity – by contributing to its universal collection.’ The collection of mementoes has been captured in the book The Museum of Broken Relationships (Hachette Australia), but you can also explore stories on the site and social media.
Ending a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of something beautiful. Far from it. Sometimes relationships end due to misunderstandings, anger or and even oppression. The Museum explores these kinds of narratives too, along with tales of cheating and obsession. It’s a dive into the psyche of people falling in and out of love.
Is there anything more heartbreaking than stumbling across old relationship mementoes in your apartment? Being the sentimental person that I am, I’ve always collected things while in a relationship: movie or concert tickets, photos and books. Finding them again after a break-up can plunge me into a state of emotion. Anyone that does the same will know how painful and emotional it can be to find your ex’s shirt at the back of your cupboard, months after ending things.
The Museum of Broken Relationships is a creative and bittersweet way to pay tribute to the past and to pain.