In a suburb just outside of Boston, there”s one house that stands out. And we mean really stands out. It”s the home and event space known as the Museum of Modern Renaissance, and it”s bursting at the seams with art.
The building was constructed in 1909 as the Second Unitarian Church of Somerville, Massachusetts, and was known for having lectures on a variety of spiritualities. These lectures included those by Swami Paramananda, one of the first people to introduce Hinduism to the U.S. in 1916. After that, it became a Masonic Lodge up until the 21st century.
In 2002, the temple was purchased by two Russian artists, Ekaterina Sorokina and Nicholas Shaplyko who gave it the psychedelic makeover it sports today. They dubbed it the Museum of Modern Renaissance, and filled it with colorful, positive imagery. This was a reaction against what they saw as a barrage of negative and violent images that pervaded the popular art world: “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 is a whirlwind of colors and patterns, many of which reference spiritualism, and psychedelic art. The walls and ceilings are covered in murals, and the house is full of bright furniture and art pieces, all created by the owners. Some of the Masonic items still remain, as a reminder of the house”s history. Sorokina and Shaplyko host exhibitions there, as well as yoga classes, concerts and other events. Though they refer to it as a museum, this is also their home. And it”s always changing, too. As they become inspired, Sorokina and Shaplyko create and recreate the house”s decor, reflecting a fluid and ever-evolving aesthetic. If you”re in the Boston area, check out their website to see if there are any events happening.