Museum of Vision

Dedicated to preserving ophthalmic history

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Past Exhibitions

Ophthalmodouleia by George Bartisch, 1583

Selections from the Sherman Collection

The Spencer E. Sherman, MD Antique Ophthalmology Book Collection represents a lasting tribute to the great thinkers in ophthalmology's past.

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Eye Diagram from China
Illustration from Yin Hai Jing Wei, 15th C

History of Ophthalmology in the Asia Pacific

This exhibit explores and celebrates the roots of ophthalmology in the Asia Pacific. These roots are found by looking at historical evidence - following a trail from ancient times to approximately the 15th Century.

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WWII Aviation Map
WWII Aviation Map

Their Eyes to the Sky

When man took to the sky in sustained flight, new possibilities burgeoned which changed the world. No longer were people bound to the land or sea for travel. With this new innovation came aviation medicine, dedicated to the health of pilots, aircrews, and more recently, to those involved in space flight.

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Great Insights and Great Thinkers in Ophthalmology

The Museum of Vision celebrates the breakthrough discoveries that created seminal turning points in ophthalmology and all of medicine.

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Beyond Ophthalmology, Beyond the Clinic
Esperanto postcard. c1912

Beyond Ophthalmology, Beyond the Clinic

The Museum of Vision proudly presents Beyond Ophthalmology, Beyond the Clinic celebrating the lives of ophthalmologists who have achieved fame in professions outside of medicine including literature, art and sports.

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Extreme Vision: Science Fiction or Truth

In this exhibit, we explore ophthalmology in science fiction to find how its predictions measure up to real medicine.

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Contagion! Epidemics in Ophthalmic History

Plague, pestilence and pandemic are words that have struck fear for centuries. Even in ancient times diseases were believed to be somehow contagious.  Before the development of modern germ theory in the late 1800s, the causes and cures of disease were largely a mystery.

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Jack Levin
Jack Levin, c1945. Courtesy of Jay M. Galst, MD

The Eyes of War

In honor of the 60th Anniversary of VE Day, May 8, 1945, we explore the sacrifices of ophthalmologists as found in the museum's Academy Archives as well as wartime innovations in ophthalmology. 

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Fantasy spectacles in the shape of a butterfly, c1960
Fantasy eyeglasses, c1960

Spectacular Spectacles

The Museum of Vision explores the history of eyeglasses and related vision aids. Take a look at the obscure beginnings of eyewear 700 years ago to current fashion.

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Trade card
Pettit's Eye Salve, 1885-1900

To Fool the Eye

Take a look at the outrageous health claims made by colorful charlatans of the 18th and 19th Centuries.  Their bogus remedies claimed to cure poor eyesight and anything else that might trouble you.

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Windows to the Soul

Eyes and vision are powerful symbols of deities and knowledge.  Explore ancient and modern legends from around the world.

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Fluorescein angiogram

Picturing The Eye: Ophthalmic Film and Photography

Since its invention in the late 1830s, photography has changed the world and ultimately ophthalmology. The camera has served a unique purpose for ophthalmologists who have traditionally used the parts and functions of the camera to explain the function of the eye. Following the camera's introduction, physicians were among its first proponents.

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Collecting Ophthalmology: 30 Years at the Museum

In 1980 the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Ophthalmology established a foundation and museum at the behest of its President, Frederick C. Blodi, MD.  Today the Museum of Vision is one of the world's leading collections of ophthalmic history.   

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American Academy of Ophthalmology