Plzeňské sympozia

Milena Secká

Industrial Exhibitions of Vojta Náprstek

pp. 74–79 (Czech), summary 80 (English)

During their visit to the International Exhibition in London in 1862, the Czech
delegation decided to establish an industrial museum in Prague and Vojta Náprstek
was entrusted with purchasing the first exhibits. These were displayed on Střelecký
island in Prague at the end of 1862 and aroused great interest among the public. At
the same time, they provided the impetus for imitation; therefore, in 1863, Náprstek
organised the second exhibition, already with the participation of Czech producers
and also of American Czechs as donors. These exhibits then formed the basis
of Náprstek's Czech Industrial Museum and subsequently the National Technical
Museum. Náprstek planned his museum not only as a gallery but rather as an
educational centre which was to provide instructions and technological procedures;
its exhibits were to be loaned to interested parties from outside of Prague, and it was
further to educate professionally by means of a library and lectures. It was the first
attempt for the systematic accumulation and presentation of technical inventions and
discoveries. The donations of predominantly Czech explorers then changed the
character of the museum, but that is already another history of the Náprstek Museum.
Key words: Bohemian Lands, 19th century, cultural history, exhibition, museums

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