Shanghai has managed to snag yet another “first in China” milestone, as the Shanghai Glasses Museum opened for public viewing this week. In an attempt to promote proper eye care, the museum houses an impressive-sounding collection of over 5,000 glasses, dating all the way back to the Song Dynasty, and is spread out over three floors of exhibit space. If this sounds rather boring, don’t fall asleep just yet: Four-eyed excitement is just around the corner.
In addition to the thousands of glasses on display, there are also “knowledge panels” for visiting children to learn about eye diseases, like myopia and astigmatism, and the risks of “improper eyes use [sic].” One can only imagine what risks they could be thinking of (*cough* extended hours of internet gaming *cough*), but the kiddies will no doubt leave the museum with a newfound fear of pink eye. There will also be interactive exhibits where visitors can fight for photo-ops with an oversized eyeball and cut in line in order to “experience sight through an animal’s eyes”:
In a horse’s eyes, everything appears blue and green; an eagle has a much wider view of eyesight; and a bee sees in compound facets.
Interesting. Very interesting. To stress the fact that the museum aims to educate, general admission is set at a very affordable 10 RMB per visitor and school groups enter for free. In a bit of delicious irony, the museum is also braille-friendly for any blind visitors interested in learning about glasses and eye care. Oh, man.
The Shanghai Glasses Museum, 533 Baoshan Road Zhabei District (near Qingyun Road, Shanghai’s “Glasses Street”)