Exhibitions & Public Events

Whole Earth Catalog 50th Anniversary
Sunday, Oct 14, 2018 -
Main Gallery at Fort Mason

On VIew: October 14–28
Main Gallery | SFAI—Fort Mason campus

Exactly 50 years ago, in 1968, the Whole Earth Catalog first came to life. Thanks to the work of an ongoing community of people, it prospered in various forms for 32 years—sundry editions of the Whole Earth Catalog, CoEvolution Quarterly, the Whole Earth Software Catalog, and Whole Earth Review, along with an online system, The WELL and events such as the first Hackers Conference, Cyberthon, etc.

This exhibit features over 142 original copies of one of the most influential publications of the last 50 years. Artists Arthur Okamura, Isabella Kirkland, Mayumi Oda, Robert Frank, and R.Crumb are among dozens of others who contributed to the covers and pages. Whole Earth Catalog and its various iterations became an extensive reference tool for users to learn about living holistically through book and product review articles on whole systems, shelter, crafts, environment, communications and community. The first issue of the catalog and those that followed were created with basic typesetting and layout tools.

The catalog was the desktop-published equivalent of an early search engine that invited readers to learn something new on every page. The Whole Earth Catalog won the National Book Award and its various versions sold in the millions worldwide.

Thank you to Our Sponsors: Long Now Foundation, Point Foundation, Wired, Ken & Maddy Dychtwald (AgeWave), Juan & Mary Enriquez, Ryan Phelan & Stewart Brand. 

Main Gallery | SFAI—Fort Mason Campus
Wednesday–Sunday 11am–7pm (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)


Image: Whole Earth Catalog & Point