The Museum of Broken Relationships explores broken love and other human relationships – what they mean to us, what they tell us about what we share and how we can learn and grow from them. It is composed of objects donated anonymously by members of the public from all over the world. Each exhibit is an object (some of them ordinary, some of them extraordinary) and a story, which together recount a watershed event in someone’s life.
The exhibits reflect the full range of human emotions. Some are sad; but many are amusing and hopeful and remind us that people change, grow and recover. Love relationships may end; relationships with family members, business partners, cities, religions and even with our former selves may end. But we learn and move on. The dislocation of a broken relationship may be isolating, but the experience is universal. No one is alone in this.
Most people have kept some object, memento or souvenir somewhere that, because of its meaning, they do not want to throw away. The Museum is always accepting donations. Giving it to the Museum provides a donor with an opportunity to tell their story anonymously and share it with others. The reasons for doing so may range from therapeutic relief to simple closure.
The Museum’s concept was born when an artist ex-couple in the midst of their own breakup wondered what people did with objects that had been meaningful in their relationships. In 2006 they had their first exhibit and the Museum has since toured internationally, amassing an amazing collection. They opened their permanent museum in Zagreb, Croatia in 2010.
In 2016, John B. Quinn founded the Museum in Los Angeles, a city of dreams – many realized and many not – which often leave broken relationships in their wake.