What is the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye®?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye is the world’s only free, public museum dedicated to the fascinating science of sight. Look through the pupil of an enormous eye, explore interactive displays and try on a virtual reality headset to see how new technology can impact medicine. Through high-tech exhibits and a renowned collection of ophthalmic artifacts, you’ll discover surprising facts about how your vision works and the field of medicine devoted to protecting it.
Through innovative exhibits, school tours, and free resource materials, the museum promotes eye health on a broad scale.
History of the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye®
The Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye was founded on November 2, 1980 as the Museum of Ophthalmology at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). The brainchild of President Frederick C. Blodi, MD, and CEO Bruce Spivey, MD, the museum presented its first exhibit at the 1982 annual meeting of the AAO and has exhibited annually at the meeting ever since.
The Museum of the Eye originally collected only books, instruments, photographs, eyeglasses and the Academy’s own archival material. Today the museum houses 38,000 items related to ophthalmic history. The artifact collection includes art, furniture, instruments, stamps, coins, medals, memorabilia, literature, pharmaceuticals, and aids to vision.
Between 1980 and 2021, the collection was only available to the public by appointment. In 2017, the museum was offered a permanent public gallery space in the national headquarters of AAO in San Francisco. Construction began in 2019, and the Museum of the Eye opened its doors to the public in July 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How do I visit the museum?
- See our Visit page for hours and location.
- Can I book a group tour?
- How can I get involved?
- We are not currently hiring, but welcome volunteers and internship applications. See our Volunteer page.
- Can I get a question answered by an ophthalmologist?
- Where can I get an eye exam?