All You Need is Love

A museum-wide exhibition exploring the many ways Love manifests in our everyday lives.

Exhibited from March 31, 2012 – June 29, 2012

Love was in the air at The MAH and the visitors explored the artworks and historical objects that reflected everything from passionate love stories, to love gone wrong, to the fierce love between mother and child.

The exhibition includes extraordinary artworks by over thirty artists including Joan Brown, Younhee Paik, and Raymond Saunders, as well as historic love letters, wedding dresses, and objects of affection from the Museum of Art & History’s permanent collection.

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Love Lounge

On the first floor was the Love Lounge. Where famed relationships in Santa Cruz County history were featured along with stories from local homeless couples, seniors in love, and people who have done crazy things for love. Each visitor was able to sit back, sing along to old love songs, and write their own love letters.

An entrance doorway with the spray-painted words ' I LOVE _________', where guests could complete with chalk. On a wall was the question 'What's the Craziest thing you've don't for love?', and in sharpie, written and drawn all around it, were the responses from the community. One favorite response was " ' I once wrote ' I Love Kristin' with a permanent marker on the wall of an art museum' ". A sleeper hit for the Love Lounge was the typewriter in the corner of the room, where one could type up love letters to take home or pin on the walls. It was with delight that a family would be found crowding the typewriter, or a teen would be lost in a love poem, typing away for an hour.

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Sound Stairs

A delightful surprise as one takes the stairs to the next level, where the sound installation is triggered by footsteps. As guests ascend the stairs, they can hear voices from Santa Cruz sharing the things they love most. Visitors were invited to record themselves at the front desk with a staff member, and every month a new batch of recorded voices are added.

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Second Floor Solari Gallery

On the second floor, where a mix of artwork, historical artifacts, community stories, and labels about the psychology of love. The main exhibition on romantic and platonic love involves throwing a DIY wedding in Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle’s Love Chapel, or exploring love gone wrong–and right–through historic artifacts and contemporary artworks. Along with the Chapel was the 'After the Break-up I...' wall of post-it notes, where visitors shared their breakup stories. Several games were included, a card game similar to Apples to Apples called 'Heart to Heart', and a personality test determining one's Love Style proved to be incredibly popular, guests thrived around the game constantly.

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Third Floor Art Forum Gallery

On the third floor, commune with Joan Brown’s powerful, mystical paintings of people and cats in the Art Forum Gallery. Meditation cushions littered the gallery, inviting guests to create different experiences for themselves. Visitors were also invited to create a collage from recycled magazines which were later hung in the creativity lounge to commemorate the places, ideas, animals, and the things they love best.

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