The Higgins Armory Museum will be closing on December 31st, and its holdings will be transferred to the Worcester Art Museum. So, you have a short time available to make a last visit to see this unique collection in the installation designed for it. The founder, John Woodman Higgins, a prominent Worcester industrialist during the early 1900s, spent a lifetime building his collection. In 1929 he began construction of a five-story building to house it, and in 1931 the John Woodman Higgins Armory opened its doors to the public. The building is the perfect home for this rare (outside of Europe) collection of knightly armor. It is five stories of steel and glass. While I’m sure the Worcester Art Museum will do its best by this collection, don’t miss this last opportunity to see the collection in its original home. It is a sad thing that the Worcester area was unable to sustain this collection in the building designed for it.
So, what is there to see here? It is a collection that children will love, but adults will also be enchanted. The first floor houses the museum store (which has great gifts for kids), plus an orientation gallery that has a short film about John Higgins and his collection. The second floor has a kids area (packed with kids when I was there), and an exhibit called “Knight to Remember”, which has photographs of the history of the building and the collection. The film from the first floor is playing again in this exhibit.
The third floor is where we really get serious, with the “Great Hall”. This is where you will see full sets of armor, plus knights on horseback. There’s also an explanation of jousting, and how it developed. The fourth floor is a balcony over the third floor, with exhibit cases of armor from around the world, and artifacts from the “World of Knights”. Did you know that they had armor for both horses and dogs?
Loved the mustache and teeth on this one!
Seniors 60 and over are admitted for $10. The museum is a bit difficult to find. It is located right behind the Greendale mall in Worcester, MA at 100 Barber Avenue. The first time that I went there, I could see it, but I just couldn’t seem to get there. MapQuest is in order here. Here’s the link to the museum’s web site: http://www.higgins.org/history-museum
The time is short – plan a visit soon.