4.0
2 votes

Museum of Modern Renaissance

115 College Avenue, Somerville, Massachusetts 02144 USA

  • Independent
  • Wheelchair
    Accessible

“Where the whole building is the exhibit”

**By Appointment Only** In an unassuming, yet colorful house just outside of Boston, Massachussetts, is hidden one of the most colorful and ornate museums in the country... but if you didn't know any better, you might walk right by it. Known as the Museum of Modern Renaissance, the century-old building was originally constructed to serve as the Second Unitarian Church of Somerville, Massachusetts, a church known for catering to a number of spiritualities, including Hinduism. In fact, the church once hosted a lecture by Swami Paramananda, credited as one of the first people to introduce Hinduism to the country. After a short stint as Masonic Lodge, in 2002, the temple was purchased by Ekaterina Sorokina and Nicholas Shaplyko, two Russian artists who wanted to maintain the building as a temple, but dedicated to a different kind of spiritual experience: art. Together, the two of them completely redecorated place of worship, turning it into a kind of psychadelic church. "We decided to do something different, like during the Italian Renaissance. It was like a song of beauty about the human body, the human soul, human creativity and human ability. It was like a resurrection of something that was before but then forgotten." Today, the house functions as a kind of museum, only here, the actual house is the exhibit. With the walls covered in ornate murals, eye-popping furniture contrasting against "spiritual art", and small reminders of the church's past strewn throughout the building, the Museum of Modern Renaissance is a sensory overload. Both Sorokina and Shaplyko often host exhibitions there, in addition to concerts, lectures, and yoga classes, all of the events in keeping with their promise to focus on the human soul. 

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Reviewed by
Greg Newkirk

  • Expert
  • 315 Reviews
  • 324 Helpful
December 08, 2014
Rated 4.0

Visits to the museum are by appointment only, so be sure to call ahead.

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Museum of Modern Renaissance

115 College Avenue
Somerville, Massachusetts
02144 USA

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  • Independent
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Street Parking
  • Yes Parking

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