Auckland Museum is temporarily closed

Auckland Museum is closed to visitors until further notice, in step with our country's efforts to limit the transmission of Covid-19. Our website remains open for you to browse. Visit Auckland Museum At Home.

Our new exhibition Love & Loss was developed largely during last year's COVID-19 lockdowns. The team who created it wanted to make sure that even if we were plunged back into lockdown, people could still 'visit' the show. Here, you can explore the heartfelt words from inside your bubble.

Every word, transcribed

Explore the objects

Every word, transcribed

In the exhibition, each QR code leads to a digital label where sometimes hard-to-read cursive is transcribed, so you don't miss a word.

From home, you can explore each object in the show through this web-based app – no download required.

Launch the app



Real stories of love

Many of the objects in this exhibition were the result of a public call-out for letters, text messages, emails, even DMs. These four short films ask the writers to tell the stories of those letters in their own words.



Telegrams from Antarctica written in code: 'I sat down with my dictionary and tried to work out what it actually said.'

Kevin & Sonya

Six painful weeks passed before Kevin knew his letters were reaching Sonya from prison: 'She hadn't signed up for this.'


A pair of new lovers, separated by distance: 'How do you hold love together when you're that far away?'


Hansa reflects on love letters she exchanged with her late husband: 'They weren't just words that I put on paper.'

Virtually walk through the exhibition

Each room in Love & Loss is dedicated to either love, or loss. The complexities of each of those sentiments is unpacked as you walk through, encompassing familial love, friendship, romantic love, grief, and longing. 

Click the arrows to move through this 3D virtual walk-through.



Put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard

Put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard

An interactive element of this exhibition lets you sit down and write your own letter. Afterwards, you can either send it with a customised NZ Post stamp, shred it for good, or anonymously share it with other visitors. 

Participate from home 

While this exhibition can't currently be visited in person, here you can write a letter or note to share with us anonymously. From time to time, we may share some of these with our followers, if you've ticked the permission box for us to do so.

Following are a few examples that were left on the 'share' wall in the exhibition, which are relevant to all of us, now more than ever. 

Click the images to view larger versions of each letter.

Write your own letter