Higgins Armory Museum Will Say Goodbye
Arms and armor enthusiasts will almost certainly agree that Higgins Armory Museum is one of the most impressive metal craft collections in the United States. Unless you reside in Europe, this museum is the go-to place for medieval knightly grandeur. It’s extensive, it’s extraordinary, and it’s in Worcester!
Let’s explore some fascinating facts about this captivating place.
- John Woodsman Higgins opened the museum in 1931. Higgins, a well-known Worcester industrialist and armor aficionado, devoted much time in amassing his remarkable collection.
- The five-floor, architecturally grand, all steel and glass curtain-wall museum is located at 100 Barber Avenue in Worcester.
- Arms and armor collections from Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Africa, India, and Ancient Greece grace this high-ceiling wonderland.
- Approximately 3,000 assorted pieces spanning 4,000 years are on display.
- The museum draws visitors from all parts of the world. In point of fact, roughly 58,000 people walk though the museum’s doors each year.
- The American Association of Museums accredits Higgins Armory Museum.
- Both permanent and visiting exhibitions are featured.
- Normal hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday hours are noon to 4 p.m. The price of admission is $12 for adults 17 and over, $10 for seniors, $8 for children 4 to 16, and little ones under 3 get in free.
- Special Senior Discounts (60+) are available on Tuesdays. The admission cost is $9, and museum store purchases are discounted by 10% (clearance items do not apply).
As charming as Higgins Armory Museum is to museum fans, regrettably it is closing. Operating expenses have made it difficult to maintain the vast, art-deco structure.
Even so, you can fully enjoy the museum through December 31, 2013. An exciting events calendar remains in place, and a special tribute, A Knight to Remember, will be held on November 16. This momentous celebration will commemorate 83 years of Higgins Armory Museum splendor. For pricing and additional information, go to http://www.higgins.org/knight-remember-0
Hence, will the presence of local arms and armor become a bygone era?
Fortunately, no. The Worcester Art Museum (WAM) will be taking in the Higgins Armory Collection and affording the pieces (swords, gauntlets, firearms, artwork, etc.) a neighborhood home. As it currently stands, Knights will open at WAM in the spring of 2014. In 2015, WAM library renovations should be complete, and this space will then become the collection’s permanent abode.
Alas, few things stay the same, so if you enjoy medieval splendor housed in an amazing, gothic-like building, get to Higgins Armory Museum before it closes.
Nevertheless, when one door shuts, another usually opens: such will be the case at WAM in the Spring.
Look at it this way, if tales of chivalry tend to rouse the romantic part of your senses, you’ll still be able to find a Knight in Shining Armor!