• Introducing the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye

    Few subjects are relevant to everyone. Vision is one of them. Sight is one of the core ways we experience the world — and, according to most people, the most valued of the five senses. Vision matters a great deal to people of every age and from every background.

    Now we have a chance to build a permanent home to explore it.

    San Francisco is home to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons and the leader in ophthalmic education. Until now, the 38,000 ophthalmic artifacts in the collection of the Academy Foundation have only been accessible online or by appointment.

    Stanley Truhlsen, MD                 Michael Marmor, MD

    The new Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye will change that.

    We are building a dedicated space in San Francisco for the existing collection and new exhibits. The Museum of the Eye will be a free, public museum and education center, introducing the world to the science of sight — and to the field of ophthalmology dedicated to protecting it.

    “The new Museum of the Eye will be the first of its kind where the public can go to learn about sight, to see it, to touch it.”
    David W. Parke II, MD, CEO
    American Academy of Ophthalmology

    Anatomical model, 1900-1930. Gift of John Shoch in memory of David Shoch, MD

    “On behalf of the City and County of San Francisco, I congratulate the Academy for bringing the Museum of the Eye to Fisherman’s Wharf. 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 wish the Academy the greatest success!”
    London N. Breed, Mayor, San Francisco

    Awe makes experiences more memorable and impactful – which gives the new museum an opportunity to save sight.

    Visitors will come away from the Museum the Eye amazed by what their eyes can do, and as a result, the museum will do more than educate and entertain its visitors. In this one-of-a-kind, immersive environment, our guests will experience how the science and profession of ophthalmology influence our daily life. They will see the evolution of eye care through the ages, learn about the latest innovations saving sight today, and develop an interest in the study of medicine and ophthalmology.

    The museum will carry on the core mission of ophthalmologists everywhere: protecting sight and empowering lives.

    Ex-voto, 19th Century. Harriet and J. William Rosenthal Collection

    Construction Has Begun, Thanks to Drs. Truhlsen and Marmor and Our Many Donors.

    With the transformational gifts of Stanley M. Truhlsen, MD, and Michael F. Marmor, MD, as well as leadership gifts and corporate sponsorships, we are two-thirds of the way to our final fundraising goal of $12 million. The Academy has begun construction of the permanent home for the new museum, and designs are coming together for four galleries: Introduction to Eye Anatomy and Function; Perception; Breakthroughs in the Understanding and Treatment of Eyes; and New Frontiers in Research and Innovation.

    As a private practitioner, university educator and recipient of the prestigious Lucien Howe Medal for ophthalmic service, Stanley M. Truhlsen, MD, represents the luminaries that the Museum of the Eye will honor. “I support the Museum of the Eye because of its many programs to preserve the history of ophthalmology and the Academy. The museum puts all these materials at your fingertips. It’s a marvelous thing,” says Dr. Truhlsen. “The museum is the vehicle by which our heritage remains both relevant and inspiring, promoting continued discovery and advancement.” His significant donation has paved the way for the museum’s new, dedicated space.

    A professor and former chair of ophthalmology at Stanford University, Michael F. Marmor, MD, provides interdisciplinary education yearly at the Academy’s annual meeting. “If we can educate the public about the eye,” said Dr. Marmor, “then we’ve done something good. The Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye provides a unique opportunity to show people that science is fun and that there is an historical basis for the fascinating field of ophthalmology. I am honored to be a champion of this exciting endeavor.” His donation will help lay the groundwork for our new, interactive museum.

    In our first year alone, we anticipate welcoming more than 30,000 visitors to the world’s only cost-free, public museum devoted to the exploration of sight and the profession of ophthalmology. We have made great progress toward a soft opening during AAO 2019 in San Francisco and a grand opening for the public in early 2020 – and we have you to thank!

    Join us in building the Museum of the Eye. For more information, please contact the Foundation’s executive director, Tina McGovern at tmcgovern@aao.org or +1 415.561.8508.