The museum attached to the Theatre, named after Evgeny Bogrationovitch Vakhtangov, was officially established in 1931 at the initiative of his students. It was founded by the Theatre Social Council.
In the first instance, and as early as in 1913, it was Evg. Vakhtangov’s wife – Nadezhda Mikhailovna – who started collecting the material that served as the basis for the establishment of the Museum and, subsequently, of Evg. Vakhtangov’s Memorial Flat.
The archive of the Theatre Museum includes all the documents relevant to the history of the Theatre’s performances: the texts of the plays, director’s scripts, casts of the performances, comments on the performances, the discussions of the Theatre Arts Council, hand-written materials, and press coverage relating to the theatre, performances, and actors.
Also housed in the museum are playbills, programme booklets, printed music, negatives and photos of the performances, minutes of Arts Council meetings, press coverage of tours, directors’ journals, and creative dossiers of the actors and directors.
The Theatre Museum is an educational research institute; its research associates take an active part in the preparation of books on the history of the Theatre named after Evg. Vakhtangov, and books devoted to the work of the actors, directors, composers, and artists who worked at the Theatre at different times. They also contribute to the making of films about the Theatre and its workers.
In the lobby of the dress-circle there is a permanent exhibition dedicated to the history of the Theatre and the performances that have constituted its glory. Spectators attending the Theatre to see any performances now are able to familiarize themselves with this exhibition.
In addition, the Museum frequently holds short-term exhibitions to coincide with memorable dates in the life and history of the Theatre.
The Museum itself is also located in the dress circle. It occupies one room where the major part of the archive and the art history library are located.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students, critics, and theatre historians come here to work with documents housed in the Muesum.
The staff cohort of the museum includes two research associates: museum administrator and honoured cultural worker Irina Leonidovna Sergeeva, and the senior research associate and honoured cultural worker Margarita Rakhmailovna Litvin. Valery Lvovitch Myasnikov is the museum’s photographer.
E.B. Vakhtangov’s Memorial Flat, where he lived from 1918 to 1922 and where he died on May 29, 1922 at the age of 39, is a branch of the Museum. It is located at 12, Denezhny Lane.
After his death, E.B. Vakhtangov’s widow, Nadezhda Mikhailovna, allocated his study for a display that includes authentic pieces of furniture, the library, playbills and programme booklets of performances, and photos taken during those years of E.B. Vakhtangov, his performances, his teachers, and his colleagues. Each photo is accompanied by a presentation inscription.
To visit the apartment-turned-museum of E.B. Vakhtangov, please make a prior arrangement with the employees of the Museum.
The Vakhtangov’s Memorial Flat
The Vakhtangov’s Memorial Flat (located on the Denejny Pereulok 12, flat 1) where Evgeny Vakhtangov lived during his last four years of life was opened 15 February, 2010.
Apart from the Evgeny Vakhtangov’s personal belongings, the exposition includes the room with the original furniture, the Vakhtangov’s personal library, the photos of his teachers, colleagues and friends, their caricatures and original pictures, the photos of the Vakhtangov’s plays and theatre posters. The room is approximated to its state of 1922.
From the very beginning the staff of the Memorial Flat is open for all the visitors to tell about the Vakhtangov’s life and artistic heritage, his studio and dramatic teaching in the theatre.
Together with the department of the artistic declamation of The Shukin Theatre Academy and under the Vasily Lanovoy’s supervision the so-called “Readers’ Nights” are held in the flat. This tradition of actors and theatre scholars’ lectures was started by Vakhtangov and then was supported by other theatres.
There also are weekly lectures for the students of The Shukin Theatre Institute on the history of The Vakhtangov Theatre (including the first decade after Evgeny Vakhtangov’s death), and on his life, creative and teaching work.
The Vakhtangov’s Memorial Flat is open on the preliminary arrangement with the staff. Phone # +7 499 241-37-65