Welcome to WAM Updates

WAM Updates are short, informal posts that put the spotlight on small, but exciting, Museum-related projects, such as the addition of a new painting or sculpture to a gallery. They also serve as updates on staff, new services or programs, and other WAM news.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

More Higgins Armory Objects on Display at WAM

I’m delighted to announce the completion of our pilot “open-storage” installation of arms and armor in WAM’s new Medieval Galleries. Open storage is a way of displaying objects closely packed in a “storage-type” space. This means we can’t label the objects or present them as beautifully as in a normal gallery display, but it allows us to make a large number of objects accessible to the public.

We are ultimately working to put the full Higgins Armory collection on view, using a combination of gallery displays and open storage. With some 2000 objects in the collection, this is a huge project! The pilot installation in the Medieval Galleries will allow us to test our ideas for open storage before we implement them on a large scale. It also allows us to get more of the Higgins collection on view—at this point, we have 5 full suits of armor on display, and a total of about 100 Higgins objects.

In the meantime, WAM has received $40,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities and $250,000 from the Institute for Museum and Library Services to support planning and preparation for our permanent arms and armor galleries. This money will support conservation and curatorial study of the Collection. It will also bring in interpretive and design consultants to help us map out plans for the permanent arms and armor galleries, which are currently scheduled for installation in 2023.

—Jeffrey L. Forgeng
Curator of Arms & Armor and Medieval Art

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