Three years ago, Higgins Armory on Barber Avenue gently closed its ornate old doors. Years of financial strain had finally forced the museum to surrender.
As heartbreaking as that was — the armory was a labor of love for more than 80 years and a thoroughly Worcester original — there was a glimmer of good news.
The Worcester Art Museum agreed to take in the core Higgins collection, and promised to do all it could to properly care for and showcase the magnificent treasures. The art museum even said it would take pains in the coming years to incorporate armory items into its existing holdings, displaying pieces together in order to tell a fuller cultural story than either of the two museums could do on their own.
WAM, which is unveiling its revamped Medieval Galleries this weekend, has been as good as its word.
There’s chivalry on Salisbury Street — and swords, shields, and gleaming suits of armor. And museum officials promise more progress in their embrace of the Higgins collection in the years ahead.