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  • Past Events

  • February 10 & February 11, 2024
    An almond shaped painting of a woman's eye, eyebrow, and a wisp of hair. The woman has light skin, blue eyes, and brown hair, and the painting is bordered with white pearls and gold metal. Underneath, there is a pink bar with white and red lettering that reads: Museum of the Eye Craft & Learn: Lover's Eyes.2:00pm
    Celebrate Valentine's Day at the museum with this Craft & Learn experience. Learn about the 18th-century fad of eye miniature portraits, then draw and decorate your own eye portrait to create a magnet or button to take home!

    Sunday, December 31, 2023
    A hand from the side of the image pours a bottle of champagne into several stacked coupe glasses. There is a black bar at the bottom of the image with orange and white lettering that reads: Museum of the Eye Celebratory Bubbles, Not Eye Troubles Sunday, December 31.
    Join us this New Year's Eve for the second annual "Celebratory Bubbles, Not Eye Troubles" event. Learn about the dangers of champagne corks from a trained ophthalmologist, see a live demo of proper champagne popping technique from a sommelier, and raise a complimentary glass of bubbly from Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants. This is a 21+ only event.

    Week of Wednesday, December 13, 2023
    Visit the museum during the week of December 13 for free coffee, pepparkakor (ginger snaps), and lussekatter (sweet saffron buns) to celebrate St. Lucy's Day. Featured in the exhibit Decoding the Eye: Signs & Symbols, St. Lucy is the patron saint of eyes. Learn more about St. Lucy and a popular Scandinavian festival in her honor through out the week, or as long as cookies last!

    Saturday, October 14, 2023

    An illustration of a young, white woman smiling with brown, curly hair with a cut-out in her cheek showing the red and blue blood vessels and muscles underneath. There is a black bar at the bottom of the image with white and orange lettering that reads: Museum of the Eye Ocular Oddities Family Tour Saturday, October 14. 2:00pm-3:00pm

    Join us at the museum for an all-ages museum tour that covers all things fun and eye-related around Halloween season. Ever wonder if bats are really blind or why black cats always have spooky glowing eyes in cartoons? Interested in whether pirates really wore eyepatches, and why? This tour is perfect for children ages 8 and up, and anyone young at heart.

    A museum staff member will lead a 30-minute tour around the museum exhibits, followed by a 30-minute guided craft project where we will learn to make Ojo de Dios, a traditional Latin American yarn craft. Ojos de Dios (God's Eyes) are also featured in the new special exhibition, Decoding the Eye: Signs & Symbols.

    Saturday, October 28, 2023
    A drawing of a boy with large, swollen, purple eyelids. The boy has brown hair and wears a high collared coat. His eyes are closed, and his eyelids protrude greatly from his face. There is a black banner at the bottom of the image with white and orange text that reads: Museum of the Eye Eerie Ocular Oddities Tour Saturday, October 282:00pm-3:00pm

    If you’re a fan of strange and sometimes spooky historical stories, then this is the Halloween tour for you. Join a museum staff member on a walk through the museum exhibits that will discuss some of the eerie twists and turns on the way to modern medicine, like medical graverobbing, photographing murder victims’ eyes, and more.

    There will also be a special display of our collection of 19th century hand-blown glass eyeballs – this fascinating set was meant to show the progression of infectious diseases in the days before antibiotics. Check them out before they return to the museum vault for another year!

    February 8 - March 31, 2023
    Sports & Vision Tour

    2:00pm, Wednesday – Sunday

    Just in time for the Super Bowl, we are offering a new gallery tour where we journey into the world of professional and Olympic athletes. Learn how athletes’ vision affects the game and how sports can affect their eyes. Led by museum staff or a trained docent, the Sports & Vision Tour will cover facts and stories from all over the wide world of sports, from baseball to gymnastics to mountain climbing.

    December 31, 2022 at 2:00pm
    "Celebratory Bubbles, Not Eye Troubles"
    Many clear, glass champagne glasses are stacked on top of one another resembling a pyramid. In the background, bodies wearing black suits pour a golden, bubbly liquid from glass bottles. The liquid is filling each champagne glass and pouring down into the bottom layers of the pyramid. Bubbles fly off the pyramid festively.

    Here’s a not-so-fun-fact about New Year’s Eve: champagne corks can fly at 50 mph. People could lose their vision, even their eyeballs, if they aren’t popping champagne correctly.

    The Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye is hosting a free, how-to event to teach the public how to properly open a bottle of champagne. Learn about the dangers of champagne corks from a medical doctor who treated patients with these eye injuries first-hand, see a live demo of proper champagne popping technique, and raise a complimentary glass of bubbly before enjoying the rest of New Year’s Eve in Fisherman’s Wharf, where the museum is conveniently located. This is a 21+ only event.

    October 1, 2022 through October 31, 2022
    "Ocular Oddities: Weird and Wild Stories in Ophthalmology"- 
    2:00pm, Wednesday - Sunday

    We have a new walking tour just in time for the Halloween season! Throughout October, join us at 2:00pm for a new docent-led tour: “Ocular Oddities: Weird and Wild Stories in Ophthalmology.” Stroll through the galleries and learn more about the strange and sometimes spooky stories behind the objects in the museum’s collection. 

    May 12, 2022 through September 30, 2022
    Spectacular Spectacles from the Touch Collection - 
    A yellow plastic pair of cat-eye eyeglasses sits on a white background.2:00pm, Wednesday - Sunday

    Join us for a hands-on experience with historical glasses from our touch collection. Hold a pair of 19th century wig spectacles, try on a pair of cat eye glasses from the 1960s, and learn more about the history of vision correction. Each event will be led by a museum staff member or volunteer. 

    Meet Your Eye Microbiome

     A magnified image of bacteria. There are three large circular objects that are green with a textured surface. Next to them, there are many small blue circles clumped together. They all sit on a smooth gray background.

    You may be familiar with the idea that your gut and skin are home to a collection of microbes — fungi, bacteria and viruses — all vital for keeping you healthy. But did you know that your eyes also host a unique menagerie of microbes? In this two-part series, we are doing a deep dive to better understand the microbiome of the eye. "Meet Your Eye Microbiome" features Anthony St. Leger, PhD, a professor and researcher at University of Pittsburg’s Ocular Microbiome and Immunity Laboratory, and Robert M. Q. Shanks, PhD, from Campbell Eye Microbiology Laboratory.

    Image: Immune system cells interacting with bacteria on the ocular surface. (Scanning electron micrograph – pseudocolored), Charles T Campbell Microbiology Laboratory at UPMC.

    The Gut and the Eye

    A magnified image of bacteria. They are long green rods, and they are surrounded by other small green structures. The image label reads: Future TX.

    Recent research is looking into the link between the gut microbiome and ocular disease. How complex is the gut microbiome? An estimated 1,000 species of bacteria alone live in the human digestive system, but only a few of these microbes are understood. It’s as if, in a vast orchestra, only a handful of instruments can be heard. But these early notes may lead to new therapeutic paradigms in which ­the gut microbiome plays a role in treating eye disease. "The Gut and the  Eye" is the second program in our two-part series exploring the microbiome of the eye.

    Behind the Scenes: Trachoma

    The first episode in our occasional series, "Behind the Scenes," features our Director, Jenny Benjamin exploring the history behind a rare set of glass teaching slides prepared by the National Trachoma Service. Trachoma is a bacterial infection that attacks the eyes and has been documented for thousands of years. Learn about the trachoma epidemic in the United States between 1912 and 1924, and its parallels to our current health crisis – the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Can You Believe Your Eyes?

    Explore how the eye-brain connection plays an important role in what you see, but can sometimes be tricked into seeing things that aren’t there. This virtual event was held in collaboration with vision scientists from the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute and the 2020 virtual Bay Area Science Festival.