Prague Apple Museum offers intimate look at Steve Jobs


The Apple Museum in Prague pays homage to innovation and Apple founder Steve Jobs.
The Apple Museum in Prague pays homage to innovation and Apple founder Steve Jobs.
Photo: Apple Museum, Prague

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugHow far would you travel to see a collection of rare Apple devices, or the clothes Steve Jobs’ wore when introducing the iPad to the world?

Hopefully, the Czech Republic is not too far for you.

The newly opened Apple Museum in Prague is home to products and memorabilia from eight different private collectors. Its inventory might make the visitor think he’s strolling through some corporate archive in Cupertino.

A revolutionary idea

But why Prague? Why not, says one of the curators who helped organize an almost year-long effort to get everything from an Apple Lisa to the eyeglasses Jobs wore during one of his keynotes.

The Prague Apple Museum.
The Prague Apple Museum holds the largest private collection of Apple devices and memorabilia in the world.
Photo: Apple Museum

In the spirit of Jobs and that first circle of confidants who created Apple, the organizers had a dream that came together with hard work, luck, and the generosity of others willing to share some rare and coveted Apple artifacts.

“There was a spark, an idea, and we had a great foundation to build on (from) one donor,” says Lukáš Hrudička, one of the museum’s curators. “It’s really incredible when you see it from six or eight months ago. It sounded like a dream.”

The Prague Apple Museum

The museum just may exceed the wildest dream of most Apple fans. Covering a span from 1976 to 2012, nearly every computer, printer, mouse, joystick, and piece of software is represented. All that’s missing is an Apple Lisa 1 (damaged during shipping), but there is a Lisa 2.

A 128K Macintosh from 1984.
This machine started it all. The Macintosh 128k was the first mass-market personal computer.
Photo: Apple Museum

Hrudička says the most-popular installations are two long tables, each showing the evolution of the iPhone and iPod (every color ever made). Nearby, explosions of color mark a collection of bulbous plastic iMacs in every hue and design.

The genius of Jobs is further remembered in the museum’s great human touches to remind visitors of the genius of Jobs. There is even a cafe with a menu that follows Jobs’ raw, vegan diet.

Telling the story

One display comes from Jobs’ introduction of the first iPad. It includes the black chair in which he sat. On it is an iPad plus the clothes he wore: jeans, a black mock turtleneck, and running shoes. On a nearby wall is a jacket worn by Jobs for his first keynote. There are high school yearbooks showing both Jobs and co-founder Steve Wozniak along with NeXT and Pixar items, representing Jobs’ exile from Apple.

iPad history, clothes and a chair used by Steve Jobs when introduced the first iPad.
Steve Jobs sat here when he introduced the first iPad.
Photo: Apple Museum

There are also rare items, such as a customized anniversary iMac with a Boze sound system and leather casing that belonged to Apple design guru, Jony Ive.

“The collection tells the story and it’s clear when you walk through,” says Hrudička. “It’s funny to see Steve Jobs when he was 17. There’s a picture of him on a motorcycle. You see the Apple II, the Lisa, and then you can clearly see when Jobs left and design kind of stopped.”

NeXT computers from the company Steve Jobs started when he was forced out of Apple.
Steve Jobs started NeXT computers when he was forced out of Apple.
Photo: Apple Museum
A room that celebrates Jobs' return to Apple.
A room that celebrates Jobs’ return to Apple.
Photo: Apple Museum

Hrudička says all the donors contributing items asked to remain private. The idea for a museum took off when a historical building on the corner of Husova and Karla Streets became available.

It was renovated for the Apple Museum, including the addition of 12,000 meters of computer cable.

The Prague Apple Museum has a vegan cafe and an interactive space for children, and will host host a Pop Art gallery in the basement.

Just how long the museum will remain is unknown. Hrudička says there’s an option for the collection to go on tour but couldn’t offer details.

The Apple I, the machine that started a personal computing revolution.
The machine that started a personal computing revolution.
Photo: Apple Museum


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