How do museums benet close pairs? It seems no coincidence that some of the earliest philosophers who aimed to make gold from base metal through the alchemical arts of solve et coagula – Latin for “separate and join together” – made discoveries and shared secrets in the Great Museum of Alexandria. For centuries since, pairs of many kinds have been doing likewise in museums. Today, the children of enemies in Ireland and in Israel, divided by religious dierence, are nding common ground for edging friendships through lively museum activities. Caregivers and their spouses in Finland and in New York are enjoying more meaningful conversation together because of art museum programs. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and heterosexual couples in Australia and Oregon are arming their bonds by sharing their love stories in exhibits. Heartbroken lovers in Croatia and army widows in California are facing the loss of their beloved partners with support from museums. Together, this varied evidence yields an exciting conclusion: museums serve essential needs of close pairs, even in cases of risk. ey also inuence several key social issues pertinent to partnership. Exactly how are museums engaging in social work with close pairs? We start this part of our survey by considering the nature of pairs.