The Love exhibition explored the universal, shared human experience of this most fundamental of emotions - we all have a love story.

A range of diverse life stories, human responses and interactions were presented which cross time, culture, gender, age, place and sexuality. They covered romantic, familial and friendship relationships. It was hoped that emotional connections and recognition would offer insights and understandings for visitors into human experiences which inspire compassion and self-reflection.

The exhibition featured collection objects from the Museums Victoria collections, as well as loans from the Heide Museum of Modern Art and from the community. These objects provided the starting point for visitors to delve into moving stories that are about real people and their experiences of love. These stories were deeply personal and told in first-person voice, and were organised emotional groupings including romance, devotion, soulmates and grief.

The stories and objects were carefully selected from the Museum's collections to provide a range of material culture and media that include the beautiful, the familiar, the ordinary and the unexpected. This included artworks, letters, personal effects, clothing and costume, and photographs. There were objects from the Museum's History collections, First People's collections, items from our Pacific and Africa collections, Numismatics and Rare Books.

In terms of our First Peoples material, curators engaged with cultural knowledge holders both at the Museum and in community to identify historical and contemporary community stories, interpret them appropriately and provide authentic voices to speak for them.

The exhibition offered an opportunity to display some objects from the collection for the first time, as well as recent collection acquisitions. Objects received significant conservation treatment, as well as new research, documentation and interpretation by curators, collection managers and community experts.

Many of the objects were activated through the immediacy of spoken or written words provided by the story owner, descendant or appropriate community representative. Collectively they demonstrated that even though our contexts may be different, we are connected through our shared emotions.

Love was on display at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne from 1 December 2018 until 28 April 2019.

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