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.geteyesmart.org

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How Do I Visit The Museum?

The Museum of Vision is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  We are closed holidays, weekends and for special events.  See our calendar to check specific dates or call 415-561-8502.

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Why Have I Never Heard Of You Before?

The Museum of Vision is a private museum established by the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Our collection of 38,000 artifacts are available to researchers, historians and members of the curious public by appointment. Although you may have seen us reviewed in various books or on travel websites, we do not advertise. We do love visitors, please call ahead to check staff availability, (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?

The Museum of Vision specializes in the history of medicine and some of our subject matter may not be of interest to very young children. However, all ages with a love of history and science will likely find something here.  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 Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology?

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.faao.org.

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Now Showing

Beam over to the museum for "Extreme Vision: Science Fiction or Truth!" 

In our gallery through Dec 2014

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