Kult of Athena


Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Higgins Armory Museum to Close??

I had planned to bring this blog out of semi-retirement (as I have not posted in almost a year, unfortunately) to write about the latest craze, Zombies, and how we deal with it, but I think for the newest post, this is more important. It would seem that after 82 years of bringing us some of the finest pieces in from hallowed antiquity, the Higgins Armory Museum in Worchester, MA is going to close on December 31, 2013.


This is a very sad day on a number of levels for any fan of the sword, especially myself. The Higgins Armory Museum not only holds a collection of over 500 individual pieces of swords and armor in its collection, but also houses them in one of the finest castle-like structures, complete with Great Hall, I have had the pleasure to visit. We had a beer festival there. See “Ale and Mail” post.

This place holds so much more than just steel. It is a place for children who were born in the wrong era, who wanted to be knights, warriors, and soldiers can see what it could have been like: to dress in the armor of a knight, to hold the sword (safely) perhaps for the first time, and to reenact fascinating ancient military formations. Millions of children warriors, yet unborn, in the countless generations to come, will never get to do this now. Millions will have to wait, hoping, piecemeal, that some sword and armor exhibition will rear its shining head so they can indulge.

It’s tragic. It’s sad. It should not happen. But, as the knights of Europe and the Samurai gave way to the drone, so must these monuments of chivalry give way to....parking lots...fast food places, and other such squalid piles of garbage that will never know how lucky they are to be standing or how disgusting they look in comparison.

However, all is not lost...yet. There is a Facebook group (Save The Higgins), and a legitimate website (Also, Save the Higgins) that is trying to keep it alive. These donation pages, that we can all visit, and make our contribution to, keep this temple to Athena open and running. It keeps the children interested. It keeps the memory of valor, honor, and dedication learning of hand-to-hand combat alive.

Though the board has decided through a vote (one I was not at personally, again, most unfortunate) I, have taken it upon myself to construct a strongly worded letter (innocuous?) and plan to send this letter to every arts grant sponsor and government official I am able to find an email for.

“Good afternoon, My name is Michael Terry and I am writing to you on behalf of the Higgins Armory Museum. It has been brought to my, and the citizens of Massachusetts, that the 82-year old iconic Higgins Armory Museum will be closing on December 31, 2013 if either an alternative plan, or funding can be found to keep the museum open. As a lover of the arts and the culture in our state, I would like nothing more than to prevent such an occurrence and keep this monument to the medieval steel arts alive and well. I know as members of the arts communities and as an organization in charge of financing such projects, you would agree. I would ask that you review the plight of this family run organization and contribute any sort of monetary donations and/or grant money that you can. The task seems overwhelming, but this beloved shrine to artistic world cannot be parceled into other museums and locations, where it can be dissected and eventually made obsolete. For more information, visit http://savehiggins.org/ or contact Ralph Tilllinghast at savehiggins@gmail.com or via phone at: 862-268-1514. Thank you for your kind attention Sincerely, Michael Terry”

We have until December 31, 2013, dear friends, and fellow warriors. Let us try and stand for this hallowed house of the sword, until it becomes relegated to the dreaded “Remember when…”