The museum houses the archives of the Ministry of State Security until 1950. When Rublev officially recognized the great Russian painter, the best place for his museum was not found. Decree on the establishment of the museum was passed by the Soviet government in 1947 on the anniversary of the 800th anniversary of Moscow.
Initially, funds were only copies and photos. Then the icon began to arrive here, write-offs of dilapidation of the provincial funds, taken from the walls of frescoes. Now in the museum over 5000 icons, and among them are the work of Dionysius. In addition to the iconic fund the museum has collection of icons salaries, liturgical objects, manuscripts and printed books (including - of prayer and singing of the old rite).
The museum exhibition is deployed in the complex of the church of the Archangel Michael, built in the end of the century XVII century by order of the first wife of Peter I Eudoxia Lopukhina. The abbot held periodic exhibitions devoted to religious art from different eras. The museum introduces visitors to outstanding examples of art XI - XVII centuries. Icons collection of the Museum enjoys international renown and includes many outstanding works. Among them are masterpieces of artists circle of Andrei Rublev and Dionysius, studio Metropolitan Macarius, and Ivan the Terrible. Especially fully represented the art of the XVII century, painters work Armory and regional artists.