Contact: Kathy Oathout


Age of Armor

To Open At

Florida International Museum

Artifacts from Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester , MA Premieres September 14, 2007

St. Petersburg , FL ( May 9, 2007 ) Knights in shining armor is a phrase that evokes history and the romance of the Renaissance. Florida International Museum (FIM) is pleased to announce its newest exhibit, Age of Armor , which will be on display at FIM beginning September 14 through December 31, 2007 . These incredible artifacts are from the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester , Massachusetts , the only museum in the United States dedicated solely to armor.

The suit of plate armor is uniquely powerful and engaging. The image of the armored knight remains perennially and deeply imbedded as a cultural icon. “This exhibition is like no other in the country,” said Kathy Oathout, executive director of Florida International Museum . “This exhibit focuses on the legendary knights of the Medieval and Renaissance eras, their tournaments, battles and victories.” The exhibit includes elaborately decorated horse armor, seven suits of armor from the 16 th and 17 th centuries, along with a wide range of the armor maker's craft.

The exhibition presents artifacts from a variety of perspectives. It begins with an overview of the history of personal armor, hearkening as far back as the Trojan War, but focusing on plate armor's classical age, from the late Middle Ages thorough the Renaissance. It then offers a range of interpretive perspectives exemplified by noteworthy pieces from the Higgins collection, examining such topics as the shaping and decorating of armor, its' diverse uses and the various criteria that used by connoisseurs to understand and assess these artifacts. Overall, the exhibit includes some five-dozen pieces, ranging from a simple yet elegant infantrymen's breastplate from the hammer of the master craftsmen of Milan to elaborately etched and gilded elements of horse armor from Southern Germany.

Florida International Museum will close Sunday, May 13, 2007 at the conclusion of the Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs national exhibition and will remain closed during the summer period, opening with the Age of Armor on September 14. Over the summer period, FIM will coordinate programming for the Age of Armor exhibit, as well as plan for an international exhibition for winter, 2008, the theme of which will be announced within the two months.

Florida International Museum 's original summer feature, Wondrous Cold: An Antarctic Journey, a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition (SITES), has been cancelled to allow time for staff to organize the fall and winter shows, as well as to hire a museum curator to enhance these exhibitions.

Upon the opening of the Age of Armor , FIM hours will be Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm; Sunday 12 noon – 5 pm; last admission at 4pm. Adults $10, Seniors/Military $8, Students $5, Toddlers 6 and under – free. Special group pricing is available. For more information please call 727.341.7900. To learn more about the Florida International Museum visit

The Florida International Museum is a non-profit educational institution supported, in part, by the Florida Arts Council, State of Florida , Division of Cultural Affairs and Institute of Museum & Library Services. Other major sponsors include Starbucks, City of St Petersburg, Pinellas Arts Council, Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, Publix Foundation, Clear Channel Outdoors and Carlton Fields and Raymond James & Associates.