BREAST implants, a photo of the brain of John F. Kennedy, a cheerleader’s outfit and the sketches of a serial killer: all are on display in some of Los Angeles’s quirkiest museums.
The cultural offerings in this city are immense, from highbrow museums featuring works by world renowned artists to others with a decidedly mass-market appeal — like the wax museum, with its likenesses of glaze-eyed celebrities.
But there are edgier and more extravagant establishments throughout the city, with some exhibits that wow and others that terrify.
There is, for example, The Museum of Broken Relationships, with displays about the heartsick and lovelorn.
One dealt with a divorcee who packed her wedding dress into a pickle jar: She did not want to toss it, let someone else wear it or allow moths to feast on it.
There is the cheerleader’s uniform that another woman never got to wear because her boyfriend jilted her; or the partly used bottles of cologne of a man who died of cancer, kept as mementoes by his widow.
And among the displays is a pair of breast implants housed in a glass case. Their former owner had had them implanted to please her partner, a “boob guy.”
But for five years her body tried to reject them and in the end, she had to undergo surgeries to remove them.
“I mutilated my body for a man I loved,” she said poignantly. “At the time, I loved him more.”
The Museum of Broken Relationships got its start after the artists Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic broke up and founded the museum as a repository for the objects they had acquired during their relationship.
Then there is LA’s Museum of Death, founded in 1995, with not-for-the-faint-of-heart exhibits on serial killers, group suicides, funerary displays, and other subjects related to death.
One display deals with the suicides of famous people like rock star Kurt Cobain. There is another on fatal automobile accidents and still another about celebrated murder cases — like that involving accused wife murderer and former football and movie star O.J. Simpson.
“It’s a way to quell the fear of death,” said museum manager Ryan Lichten.