Worc. Telegram: "Higgins Armory Museum to close after 82 years; Collection to find home at WAM; END OF AN ERA"
The Higgins Armory in Worcester, Mass., will close on Dec. 31, 2013. Uncounted children will be saddened, as will modern swordsmen, when most of the museum's programs -- from educational "OverKnight" sleep-overs to the Academy of the Sword -- will come to a halt. Until then, though, the planned events will run full-tilt through 12/31/2013.
The nation's second-best arms & armor collection -- and "the only dedicated museum of armor in the western hemisphere, housing one of the few significant collections of knightly armor outside of Europe" -- will have to close down at the end of this year for financial reasons
. It was unable to build its endowment, and has spent down its existing monies at too great a rate (including the expense of maintaining the gorgeous Art Deco building's bright glass-and-steel exterior
Higgins Statement: http://www.higgins.org/integration-worcester-art-museum
Worcester Telegram article: http://www.telegram.com/article/20130309/NEWS/103099931/0/FRONTPAGE
For decades, the Museum has offered local schoolchildren & Scouts the opportunity to spend the night
in the Museum. Education programs, special tours, hands-on projects, and a "knighting ceremony" draw the children into the collection, and having Miss Kim demonstrate the protective power of chain mail
simply blows their mind.
As well, the Museum hosts the Academy of the Sword
: workshops, classes, and regular training for historians, enthusiasts, and even children. Indeed, the museum now offers a video display built with footage of Viking combat re-enactors
demonstrating techniques and weapons.
The Museum is very forward-looking: the collection is available in an online database
, and they run an annual fund-rasier called the Festival of Ale
featuring many regional brewers.
But all is not grim: Museum programs will continue until the building on Barber Avenue closes, including the Siege The Day! Trebuchet Contest
and traveling outreach programs
While you still can, take a trip
to the Higgins Armory and see the life-size jousting knights, clap eyes on thousand-year old weapons, and have your picture taken giving the hand-and-a-half-sword a heft.
Not Pepsi Blue: I have no affiliation with the museum aside from many fond memories, including spending the day before my wedding there in the company of my Best Man.