Two Croatian artists, Olinka Vistina and Drazen Grubisic, broke up. But rather than tossing the material effects of their lost love, they decided to open a museum dedicated to housing the runoff of broken relationships. The location in Zagreb proved so popular that it spawned a second Museum of Broken Relationships in Los Angeles.
The concept is simple: If your heart has been broken and you are left with reminders of your lover too precious to throw away but too painful to keep, send them in to the museum with a brief description. In the quiet, minimal space, seemingly mundane objects are put on display with nothing but explanation offered by the anonymous donor.
The exhibit offers a tender look at the intimacy of others. Some objects, like a wedding dresses and teddy bears, are easily read. Others are more obscure — mannequin hands, a plastic flamingo straw, several used emery boards, etc. The descriptions invite questions, laughter, gasps, and of course, tears. The Museum of Broken Relationships is one part melancholy, one part cathartic, and totally sigh-inducing.