Marx-Engels Museum

Marx-Engels Museum


(full name, Museum of K. Marx and F. Engels of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the CPSU), a museum founded in Moscow by the decision of Mar. 9, 1960, of the Central Committee of the CPSU; located at 5 Marx-Engels Street, it was opened to visitors on May 7, 1962.

On Dec. 8, 1920, a plenary session of the Central Committee of the RCP (B), acting on V. I. Lenin’s proposal, resolved to create “the world’s first museum of Marxism.” In 1921, a museum division was organized at the Marx-Engels Institute (since 1956, the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the CPSU); the division began locating and collecting documents about the life and work of Marx and Engels, as well as the iconography, works of art, and relics of the revolutionary movement. Beginning in the late 1920’s, exhibitions dealing with the revolutionary work of the founders of Marxism and with the history of the labor and communist movements were organized on a periodic basis.

As a result of its systematic work, the Institute of Marxism-Leninism has assembled a rare collection of materials on the life and work of Marx and Engels and on the revolutionary, labor, and liberation movements. As of 1973, the museum held about 100, 000 exhibit units. These include the most complete collection of photographs (about 1, 000) of Marx and Engels, their comrades-in-arms, and leaders of the international revolutionary movement, as well as photographs of members of Marx’ family and members of the Paris Commune of 1871 (about 600). There are engravings and drawings depicting the events and participants of the Revolution of 1848–49; views of cities where Marx and Engels lived and worked; and pictures portraying the strike and liberation movements in Ireland, Hungary, Poland, and other countries. The museum’s holdings also include more than 7, 000 political cartoons from the period of the Paris Commune; personal belongings of Marx and Engels; a reconstruction of Marx’ study; and a collection of Marx’ and Engels’ works published during their lifetime, copies of newspapers publishing their works, and copies of their manuscripts. There are about 4, 000 exhibits in the museum’s nine halls. The last hall contains materials on Lenin’s work as the great successor and avid proponent of the teachings of Marx and Engels; it also contains materials depicting the implementation of their ideas in the first socialist state in the world—the USSR—and in other socialist countries, as well as materials on the contemporary communist movement.

The museum provides lectures and courses for students of the party educational network, students of higher and secondary schools, and servicemen of the Soviet Army. The museum issues various illustrated publications based on its holdings; the total printing of these publications has amounted to about 3 million copies. The museum has held more than 50 exhibitions devoted to memorial and jubilee dates from the history of the revolutionary movement, as well as to current problems of the contemporary communist, labor, and national-liberation movements. The museum has been visited by more than 1 million persons, including delegations and representatives of about 70 fraternal communist and labor parties.


“Muzei K. Marksa i F. Engel’sa.” Ideinyi arsenal kommunistov. Moscow, 1971.