musée de l'œil

The Foundation of the Eye Museum

In 2006, the Board of Trustees of the Swiss Society of Ophthalmology mandated Dr Ducrey to set up an Eye Museum. It was started with an exhibition organised in Montreux in 2007 on the occasion of the congress marking the Society's centenary. Members of the Board are, amongst others, Dr Ducrey, Chairman, Dr Georges Klainguti, Vice-Chairman, and Dr Eveline Federspiel, all of whom are former Presidents of the SSO.

The foundation deed was established the same year with the purpose of organising, preserving and presenting to the public a collection of books, instruments and object with either direct or indirect bearing on ophthalmology. The seat of the Foundation is in Lausanne at the premises of the Board of Trustees of the Home for the Blind.

Since then, a large number of books, objects and instruments relating to ophthalmology have been donated to the Foundation. A fund raising drive was started at the same time as a financial evaluation of a possible visitor's circuit was made by Museum Développement. The cost of the security display cases, the need to insure the instruments we were planning to display to the public, exceeded by far the Foundation's financial means. As a result the decision was made to present the Eye Museum primarily on an internet website and through the exhibition « A vue d'œil » installed at the Jules-Gonin Eye Hospital. The new format of the project enables the dissemination of knowledge via the internet and by displaying in 2D some of the collection's objects on the walls of the Ophthalmological Hospital in Lausanne. It is the Foundation's wish to expand its collection through donations it hopes will continue to come its way.

The Museum's main objective is to preserve the heritage by assembling the largest possible number of historic objects. The Museum is also dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge about the history of ophthalmology with the ultimate aim of creating a documentation centre accessible to interested parties.

Fund raising continues in order to secure the Foundation's existence in the long term, add to its collection of objects, and to display them in roving exhibitions.