Only hours left to make your goal

By John Anderson

Like many out there, I wanted to see Higgins Armory one last time, actually my first time. I invited a friend along who had spent many, many hours at Higgins with his young son who tragically passed away nearly 8 years ago. I knew this would be an emotional goodbye, but he was up for it. He had last visited the Armory in the late 1990’s and thought about making the visit on his own, but just didn’t get it done.

 

A B&W photo displayed in one of the galleries shows the Great Hall in all its glory with suit after suit of armor and even a cannon.

A B&W photo displayed in one of the galleries shows the Great Hall in all its glory with suit after suit of armor and even a cannon.

 

So, on Tuesday, December 17th, we drove over to Barber Ave. as the snowflakes were beginning their steady descent. I paid for 2 adult admissions ($12 each), and we took the elevator to the fourth floor. As we worked our way downstairs, my friends remarked about the lack of armor in the Great Hall. To a first-timer there was still a lot to look at.

A photograph of the Great Hall shows how the museum used to look, and nearly all the armor along the sidewalls is gone. This fact was upsetting to my friend since the Great Hall was a highlight. My understanding is that armor was beginning to deteriorate in the unpredictable climate in this old building. The constant contact with visitors’ hands was also not good. Costs to modify the structure or encase the armor were both prohibitive.

 

Taken from beneath the huge round window shown above, the same corridor has two displays in the center but no free standing suits of armor lining the Great Hall.

Taken from beneath the huge round window shown above, the same corridor has two displays in the center but no free standing suits of armor lining the Great Hall.

 

How can a museum survive if they don’t display the core elements of their collections? I think the impending closure of Higgins Armory answers that question. The transfer of the collection to the esteemed Worcester Art Museum has begun, and these artifacts have a great future ahead of them.

The Higgins Armory Museum will close for good at 3:45pm on December 31st. I look forward to seeing for

my first time Mr. Higgins’ suits of armor when I revisit the Worcester Art Museum. I wish I had seen them Tuesday.