The Museum of Modern Renaissance has given many Tufts University students and Somerville residents pause at its eye-catching location near Powder House Square. Originally a Unitarian Church and then a masonic lodge, the building at 115 College Avenue was transformed in 2002 into a vibrant “Temple of Art”.
The creation of the museum was the dream of two Russian artists, Nicholas Shaplyko and Ekatrina Sorokina. They fashioned a playful space filled with their own artwork that brings the visitor into another dimension. Covering almost every surface of the Museum with fresco-like paintings called “Mystical Realism,” the artists transformed their home into a fantasy world full of mythological themes. From the front hall, which they call the “Parade of Planets,” to their workroom that also serves as an indoor garden in winter, to the teapot-themed bathroom, their artwork graces the entire building. All the art is a collaboration of the two married artists.
The outside of the building (pictured above) is as kaleidoscopic as the interior. The facade is reminiscent of an Incan ruin, with a large stone face above the doorway and a colorful bull on the door. Although the museum is not open to the public, there are tours available by appointment. The doors also open for various concerts and the annual Somerville Open Studios.