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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.