Joan Shogren
Computer Art Pioneer

When one thinks about the pioneers of the computer industry the name Joan Shogren very seldom comes up. But, if you know the true history of computer art you very well may have run across Joan's name on the Internet. Joan was the primary pioneer to two very important and long-lasting areas of computer art.

World's First Public Showing of Computer Art

On May 6, 1963 Joan had the very first showing of computer art at the San Jose State (San Jose, California) Spartan Book Store. The Spartan Daily article (May 3, 1963) announcing the showing is below; click here to see the article online.

An article annoucing the showing was also published in the San Jose Mercury News on Saturday May 4, 1963:

Joan's accomplishment is also mentioned in the scholorly work, Computational Creativity Research: Towards Creative Machines (Atlantis Thinking Machines) 2015th Edition.

Finally, the IBM Corporation had Joan create a computer art that they could use on a new office they were building in San Jose. We believe the picture below is the building but we have no way of verifying that. If someone from IBM knows for a fact that this is the building please contact Brad Fregger.

While a couple of other people had experimented with computer art at about the same time, there's no doubt that Joan had the very first public showing of computer art in the world.

Creating the World's First Computer "ClickArt"

In 1984, T/Maker (a Mountain View, California computer software company) asked Joan and her associates, Mike Mathis and Dennis Fregger, to create the very first computer clip art, branded as "ClickArt." Clip art had been used by the publishing industry for many years but T/Maker was the first to market products of clip art images and Joan's team was the first in the world to create clip art images for computer software products. T/Maker's ClickArt products have survived the test of time and are still being produced 33 years later. Currently the ClickArt brand is owned and distributed by Broderbund.

Below is an image of the first ClickArt product shipped, ClickArt Publications. This product and all the initial products were shipped in small packages (4.25" x 4").

Front (Large Size)bbbbbbbbbbbbbBack (Large Size)

In 1987 T/Maker changed to 7.5" x 6" box for all of its products. Here is the ClickArt Holidays box.

Large Size (Front - Back)

Joan and her associates designed and produced all of the initial ClickArt products from T/Maker, they include:

  • Publications
  • Holidays
  • Personal Graphics
  • Business Images
  • Letters
  • Christian Images
  • EPS Illustrations
  • Effects

Joan Shogren - Computer Art Pioneer


Website created by Brad Fregger
December 2017