Back in 1900, Zeiss employees began gathering optical instruments. In 1922 the Optical Museum in Jena was established by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. After a number of eventful years in German history, in 1992 the Museum was transferred to the Ernst Abbe Foundation. A substantial cultural and scientific stock of world renown on the history and significance of optics has been compiled over recent decades.
Underpinned by the commemoration of the founding fathers of the modern optical industry in Germany, and on the 200th birthday of Carl Zeiss on 11 September 2016, the city of Jena, the Carl Zeiss Foundation, the Ernst Abbe Foundation, Carl Zeiss AG and the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena joined forces to establish the German Optical Museum Foundation on 9 September 2016.
The steps are documented here:
2 May 2017
The German Optical Museum Foundation headquartered in Jena and established by the foundation business on 13 April 2017 has been recognized as an incorporated foundation under civil law.
20 April 2017
The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena and the German Optical Museum Foundation have issued a joint ad for a W3 professorship in history and physics
with a focus on science communication. The position also involves managing the German Optical Museum.
5 December 2016
Appointment of Board of Trustees · Appointment of Director (temporarily, until one is officially appointed) · Partners sign Foundation deed · Documents forwarded to foundation supervisory authorities and local supervisory authority
11 September 2016
Public announcement at D.O.M. – At the current museum on this day, more than 50 visitors were photographed in selected areas before specific exhibits; they agreed to have the photos reshot after
the opening of the D.O.M. in the same clothes but in different areas.
To the left is a small selection of the photos.
For more detailed information on the 200th birthday of Carl Zeiss, please visit
9 September 2016
Today, the upcoming celebrations for the 200th birthday of Carl Zeiss were used as the basis for establishing the German Optical Museum Foundation. This laid the groundwork for turning the
Optical Museum in Jena into the German Optical Museum.
Definition of financial framework and designs for foundation statute and business
The circle grows
First meeting between Carl Zeiss AG, the city of Jena and the Ernst Abbe Foundation