• Museum Construction Updates

    Oct 09, 2020

    Author: Stephanie Stewart Bailey, Museum Specialist, Truhlsen - Marmor Museum of the Eye® 

    Museum staff and a team of contractors are putting the final touches on the museum and its exhibits, detailing each gallery so that we can open our doors to you. As the city of San Francisco reached stage 2 of reopening in June, essential workers gradually and carefully returned to the museum to wrap up installation.  

    The museum has been bustling with exhibit developers and technicians clad in pandemic masks, arranging graphics and timeline panels and squaring away interactives—all to explain the phenomenon behind how the eye functions.

    In the meantime, the museum director and I have been placing objects in their new homes, the gallery display cases. These historic objects now get to see the light of day outside of the museum’s storage cabinets.

    The Bay Area is known for earthquakes, and we have experienced some minor seismic activity over this year. We reinforced the security of our delicate historic glasses as well as their small identification tags. We took apart each object case and used light restraints and museum wax to gently keep each piece in its curated spot, ensuring the safety of the collection.

    Looking back over the general build process, many people with various skillsets have helped create each facet of our new museum. We have joined forces with various Academy staff and ophthalmic members from across the country, including committee members and donors, to design the exhibits and ensure medical relevance and accuracy.

    The museum design process has come a long way. Prior to construction, this space was an art gallery. The American Academy of Ophthalmology staff collaborated with Weldon Exhibits to completely redesign the space. From inception to planning to demolishing walls to exhibit fabrication, the new museum has been years in the making.

    As part of the build process, all of the exhibits went through several creative iterations. Pictured here you can see an early design phase of an interactive eye model. The exhibit designer seen here illustrated his artistry as he folded in computer technology and his model-making skills, all while taking in anatomical advice and directives from our advisors.

    Last but definitely not least, prior to shelter in place, we had two delightful museum studies interns from San Francisco State University working with us. We engage with students on a range of curatorial and back-of-house projects, as well as social media, communications and various public programming. We look forward to the knowledge and enthusiasm our next set of seasonal interns bring. If you or anyone you know is curious to learn more about our intern and volunteer programs, you can read more here. We’d love to collaborate with you.

    While we await our physical grand opening in 2021, we are having fun reaching out to you over social media @museumoftheeye and via our upcoming virtual public programs. We look forward to visiting with you more online, as well as in the near future, onsite at the museum.