Laugh or Cry: Museum of Broken Relationships Opens in Hollywood

No, there's isn't a "Stephen Kruiser Wing."

The Museum of Broken Relationships is likely the only museum you're apt to visit that contains a pair of breast implants once housed inside an actual human being, a vial full of pubic hair and a stack of pornos. But as odd as it may initially sound, it is a museum of catharsis, heartbreak and hope.

The Museum of Broken Relationships originated in Zagreb, Croatia, founded by Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić, two artists who dated for four years before breaking up in 2003. It began as a traveling exhibit, but then turned into a permanent brick-and-mortar institution in 2010. The idea is that couples who break up will donate things to the museum that serve as painful reminders of their ex-lover, instead of throwing them out or destroying them.

The Hollywood museum is the first permanent offshoot from the original in Zagreb, and the group's second brick-and-mortar location. It takes over the old Frederick's of Hollywood space with a clean, minimalist design that puts the focus on the collected objects. Each object is displayed with a sign that reveals where it's from, when the relationship it references occurred, and the story behind it. All items are anonymous. According to the museum's assistant director, Amanda Vandenberg, there are about 115 such items currently on display, many from their most recent call for submissions and a few from their Croatian counterpart.

It's important for creative people to turn failed relationships into art. I remember talking to a good friend when I first realized I would be getting a divorce and saying, "I better get a LOT of material out of this."

I did.

This would probably be a great thing to visit for couples who are pondering divorce or a break-up. I am forever counseling some married friends of mine about the perils of the "grass is always greener" mentality. Perhaps visual aids from other failed relationships can serve as reality jolt. Then again, it might just speed up the inevitable.

"I've got the perfect thing to donate to this place."

"What?"

"You."