Free Museum Teaches All About Eyes

Many of us who live with serious eye health issues are well versed in the details of our diagnosis. We are all too familiar with the symptoms that plague us, the standard treatment methodologies, and the latest research on our conditions. However, sometimes what we miss in our knowledge are the basics. Just how much do you know about the basic workings of the eye itself or the most common maladies that can affect vision?

Here is an excellent opportunity for you to find out more. The Museum of Vision is located  in San Francisco and is taking part in the Smithsonian’s 8th Annual Museum Day on September 28 and 29 (dependent on each participating museum’s regular operating hours). Established as an educational program of The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Museum of Vision strives to educate people about the eye, vision, and the history of ophthalmology. This small museum is conveniently located near Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and our PROSE clinic at the Proctor Foundation (UCSF). The museum is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it is recommended that you contact the museum before your arrival to ensure staff is available during your visit. Keep it in mind the next time you visit the area or are at our nearby PROSE clinic for an appointment.

If you are unable to get to the museum for a visit, much of the exhibit information, educational materials, and archives and recorded histories are available online at the museum’s website. Here you’ll find:

  • The Eyes Examined:  a history  of ophthalmic knowledge and practice at the turn of the last century
  • Spectacular Spectacles:  eyewear fashions through the decades
  • The Eyes of War:  ophthalmology during wartime
  • To Fool the Eye:  vision health claims and quackery in the 18th and 19th centuries

And if you find yourself with some free time this coming weekend, be sure to take advantage of the Smithsonian’s Museum Day celebration. To locate a participating museum in your vicinity, check the Smithsonian website.

Have you visited the Museum of Vision or have you found another museum exhibit focused on eye health that you found interesting? Please let us know here and offer others the opportunity to share your discoveries.