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  • World’s First Public Museum Dedicated to Vision Reaches Six-month Milestone

    With two-thirds of funding goal met, museum set to open in early 2020

    SAN FRANCISCO  – May 2, 2019 – The American Academy of Ophthalmology today announced that the ophthalmology community has contributed $8.5 million of the $12 million required to create a permanent endowment to operate the world’s first free-admission public museum dedicated to vision and eye health. The new museum will be located at the Academy’s headquarters in San Francisco. It is expected to open in early 2020.

    “On behalf of the city and county of San Francisco, I want to congratulate the American Academy of Ophthalmology for working to bring the Museum of the Eye to Fisherman’s Wharf,” Mayor London Breed said. “This new center will welcome visitors from all around the world, and will provide unique, interactive opportunities to learn about the science and history of our most treasured sense—our vision. I want to wish the Academy the greatest success.”

    The Academy Foundation is grateful for Stanley M. Truhlsen, MD, and Michael F. Marmor, MD, who made substantial donations to lay the groundwork for the new museum. It is named in their honor: the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye.

    The museum is also made possible by individual ophthalmologists throughout the country and corporate sponsors, including Johnson & Johnson Vision, Alcon, Carl Zeiss Meditec, and Glaukos Corp.

    The opening of a museum enables the Academy to showcase its collection of more than 38,000 artifacts, books, and instruments. These treasures have been collected for more than 30 years as the former Museum of Vision, but opportunities to view them are limited.

    Bringing this extensive collection out in the open for the public to experience will help people understand their own eye health and what ophthalmologists do to protect their sight, inspiring the next generation of eye physicians and surgeons.

    Virtual reality headsets and interactive screens will allow visitors to explore ophthalmology’s history, its professional visionaries, technological advances, medical breakthroughs, and the latest innovations saving sight today.

    San Francisco architect Shad Beazer of Studio TwentyTwo Design recently completed floor plans for the four-gallery space, and Novato exhibit design firm Weldon Exhibits LLC is currently working on fabricating the exhibits.

    Starting in 2020, an estimated 30,000 visitors a year will be able to enjoy—for free—rotating exhibits and events in this popular Fisherman's Wharf location.


    About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit