Discover the Beat Generation in San Francisco

In the 1950s, San Francisco’s North Beach became home to a colorful array of writers, artists, and other free thinkers who championed free expression and pioneered a fresh outlook on American life in the postwar years. Encompassing such writers as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Diane di Prima, Gregory Corso, ruth weiss, Bob Kaufman, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, Philip Lamantia, Anne Waldman, Philip Whalen, Joyce Johnson, Jack Micheline, Lew Welch, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Kenneth Rexroth, and a host of others, the San Francisco Renaissance had a profound impact on American culture, and influenced counterculture movements including the hippies, punk rock, and beyond, and spread throughout the world.

The Beat Museum tells the story of the Beat Generation, and contains rare and important books, paintings, photography, personal effects that belonged to its central figures, and more. Our purpose is to celebrate this important part of our history and culture, and to further the values of the Beat Generation—tolerance, inclusiveness, and the importance of living authentically.

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