Vladimir Vysotsky, the legendary singer-songwriter and actor, died in 1980 and, although his funeral went unannounced, tens of thousands lined the route to the Vagankov Cemetery where he was buried. Although he received little official recognition in his lifetime, his unmistakable gravelly voice, detailing the daily life of the Soviet Union with wit and pathos, was known and loved by millions.
Vysotsky was born in 1938 to a family of servants. In 1960 he graduated from the Studio School of the Moscow Academic Theater, and first achieved fame as an actor on stage and screen. For most of his life he worked at the Theater of Drama and Comedy on Taganka, a short walk from the museum. His most celebrated role was as a denim-clad, guitar playing Hamlet, and he appeared in the play over 300 times.
But it was his songs, tales of the trials and tribulations of the Soviet people, that made him most famous. His work was labeled as Anti-Soviet, but his recordings were distributed on bootleg tapes across the nation, and unadvertised concerts in obscure suburban halls were packed with fans.
The museum contains a wealth of exhibits chronicling his life and the various aspects of his creative activity, including manuscripts, posters and photographs, and bringing to life the whole world of the late Soviet underground.
Opening hours: Daily from 11:00 to 17:30, closed Sunday and Monday.