Sometime in 2020, you’ll have another item to add on your next trip to San Francisco, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Vision Museum.

The AAO will welcome the public to the museum located at the Academy’s San Francisco headquarters.

So far, 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 the vision and eye health. “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. 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.



Among the items on display will be this Schiötz indentation tonometer that was widely used throughout the world during the first two-thirds of the 20th century

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.

Starting in 2020, 30,000 visitors a year will be able to enjoy free rotating exhibits and events in this Fisherman’s Wharf location.