Museum of Vision

Dedicated to preserving ophthalmic history

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Healthy Eyes, Healthy Body

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Museum of Vision preserves the history of ophthalmology and celebrates its contributions to medicine and health.  We are always happy to answer any questions you may have.  Here are just a few of the frequent questions we receive and their answers.

Have A Different Question? Visit Research & Resources


I Have A Vision Problem

For information about specific eye diseases, their symptoms and where to find an ophthalmologist, go to www.aao.org/eye-health

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How Do I Visit The Museum?

The Museum of Vision is open by appointment only, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  We are closed holidays, weekends and for special events. Please call ahead to check staff availability, 1-415-561-8502.

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Why Have I Never Heard Of You Before?

The Museum of Vision is the history and archives department of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. We utilize the extensive private collection of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Foundation to celebrate the history of ophthalmology, vision science and health. We are open by appointment only. Although you may have seen us reviewed in travel books or websites, we do not advertise. We do love visitors, please call ahead to check staff availability, 1-415-561-8502.

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If I Visit, What Will I See?

The Museum of Vision is located inside the national headquarters of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Displays are located on three floors in small galleries and hallways. All tours are guided by a staff member. Permanent exhibits contain information about the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases and the history of the Academy. Our changing gallery hosts a different exhibit each year. Look on our exhibitions page to see what is currently showing.

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Are The Exhibits Suitable For Children?

All ages are welcome to the museum, but it should be noted that the Museum of Vision specializes in the history of medicine and surgery. As such, some of our subject matter may not be of interest or appropriate for young children. So that we might better serve you, please inform staff that there will be children in your party when you make an appointment to visit.

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Do You Have Any Information Available For Children?

Yes!  The Museum of Vision's curriculum guides provide information about how we see along with activities for children ages 10 through 14.  Curriculum guides can be found within the museum's educational offerings

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Would The Museum Like My Antiques?

The Museum of Vision is always interested in expanding its collection.  It is the museum's policy to place all offered gifts before an acquisition committee for a formal vote.  Meetings are quarterly.  Please contact museum staff with details about your offer of donation, including a description and photos, if possible.

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I Have A Similar Item To Yours, What Is Its Value?

The Internal Revenue Service bars museums and their staff from providing formal monetary appraisals. It is also museum policy not to provide informal estimates of value. You are encouraged to contact an appraiser or check on-line auction houses if you are seeking to know what something may be worth.

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What Is The American Academy of Ophthalmology?

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the largest national membership association of ophthalmologists, or EyeMDs, in the world.  For more information about the Academy, go to www.aao.org.

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What Is the American Academy of Ophthalmology Foundation?

The Foundation is dedicated to the prevention of global blindness through education and service. Their programs, including the Museum of Vision, support the American Academy of Ophthalmology's goals and mission. For more information go to www.aao.org/foundation.

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Now Showing

View selections from the
Spencer E. Sherman, MD
Antique Ophthalmology
Book Collection

In our 3rd floor gallery

Or Visit Online

Oral Histories

The Museum of Vision has collected dozens of oral histories over the years.  Details about our collection can be found here.


Links Page

If you need more information about eyes and medicine - these links may help


American Academy of Ophthalmology