Water oxidation to evolve O2 in photosynthesis is catalyzed by an enzyme whose active site contains a mu-oxo-bridged manganese core. Catalytic O2 evolution has been difficult to establish by manganese-oxo complexes in homogeneous aqueous solutions. The reaction of [(OH2)(terpy)MnIII(mu-O)2MnIV(terpy)(OH2)]3+ (terpy = 2,2':6',2' '-terpyridine) (1) with a CeIV oxidant leads to the decomposition of 1 to the permanganate ion without O2 evolution in an aqueous solution but catalytically produces O2 from water when 1 is adsorbed on clay compounds. 18O-labeling experiments showed that the oxygen atoms in O2 originate exclusively from water. Catalysis of O2 evolution requires cooperation of 2 equiv of 1 adsorbed on clay compounds.