The Computer History Museum (CHM) announced today the opening of its latest exhibit “Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley 1985–2000,” featuring photographs by award-winning photographer Doug Menuez. Menuez, who was granted unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to iconic Silicon Valley organizations such as Apple, Kleiner Perkins, and Adobe, captures a pivotal moment in the Valley’s history as the computing industry began its transition from analog to digital. Comprised of 50 special silver gelatin prints produced as a hybrid of analog and digital, this exhibition will mark its first official US appearance.
This exhibit chronicles the rise of pioneering innovators like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, John Warnock and John Doerr, while shining an often forgotten spotlight on the banal moments that frequented office life and the everyday men and women who toiled to turn the digital dream into reality, often at great personal sacrifice and struggle.
“Fearless Genius,” began as a project in 1985 with Steve Jobs as Jobs was starting over after losing a boardroom battle and leaving Apple. In an extraordinary act of trust, Jobs allowed Menuez special access to photograph him for LIFE Magazine as he built a new company, NeXT, and a powerful new supercomputer that Jobs hoped would transform education. Once Silicon Valley heard that Jobs had granted Menuez complete access, everyone did.
Menuez spent time photographing more than 70 leading companies and innovators over 15 years and continued working through the Internet boom of the 1990s. He completed the project in 2000 as the dot-com bubble was collapsing and a singular era in our history was ending. Menuez generated an image archive of 250,000 negatives, which is now housed at the Stanford University Library, and from which this exhibit of black-and-white silver gelatin prints has been curated.
“We’re delighted to join with Doug Menuez to bring ‘Fearless Genius’ back home. Doug’s remarkable work is a vivid portrayal of Silicon Valley’s coming of age and a snapshot of some of the key figures in that era. It’s a perfect fit for the Computer History Museum and its mission,” said John Hollar, Museum President and CEO.
During a daytime discussion on July 9, Menuez will share eyewitness stories of the unknown sacrifice, insanely hard work, and relentless optimism of a secretive, brilliant tribe during those early and transformative days of the digital revolution. There are significant lessons from this era that are relevant and inspiring for today’s innovators as we attempt to catch the next big wave of transformational technology development. To register for the free daytime lecture visit the Museum’s website. Menuez will be signing copies of his book “Fearless Genius” following the program.
“All of a sudden the history in ‘Fearless Genius’ is relevant, and in particular to young entrepreneurs who’ve engaged me after my talks,” said Menuez. “They really respond to these stories of the great innovators. It made its debut at the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow in March of 2012, and has been constantly exhibiting worldwide since then, including exhibits in Spain, France, Switzerland and 3 trips to China. I’m thrilled to be opening the first official US exhibition of Fearless Genius at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley.”
“Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley 1985–2000” will be on exhibit starting July 9 and will remain on exhibit through mid September 2014. Visit the Museum’s website for visiting hours.
This exhibit was made possible through the generosity of Micron Technology Inc.
The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, is a nonprofit organization with a four-decade history as the worldâ€™s leading institution exploring the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society. The Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history, and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs, and moving images.
The Museum brings computer history to life through large-scale exhibits, an acclaimed speaker series, a dynamic website, docent-led tours, and an award-winning education program. The Museum's signature exhibition is "Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing", described by USA Today as "the Valley's answer to the Smithsonian." Other current exhibits include "Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2", IBM 1401 and PDP-1 Demo Labs.