OK, but why?
The name itself, Museum of Broken Relationships, is synonymous with crippling grief, panic-inducing regret, and forever-lost happily ever afters. So why would anyone choose to partake in such a gut-wrenching museum experience?
Alexis Hyde, the museum's director, explains that while at face value the Museum of Broken Relationships does sound like a drag, it's actually the opposite.
"When we're going through these times of loss and grief, we feel very alone," Hyde says. "And when you go through this and you see how other people have gotten through and their experiences that mirror yours, you end up leaving with a sense of connection, a sense of catharsis, a sense of hope."
And while all the objects do tell stories of a break and an end, a lot of them leave you smiling, laughing, even zealously optimistic. "Plenty of the stories are funny or wistful," Hyde said, "or they know that it was for the best. Some do break your heart but that's not all of them. And seeing that rainbow of experience is very… connecting."
As you read the display cards and connect them to the items, you realize that, yes, this is art. This is what art is SUPPOSED to do. It's not just a pretty visual, it's an experience. An entire visceral reaction as your sensory memory kicks in and you remember having these feelings, thinking these thoughts, holding on to these hopes.