Between 2019 and 2020, the USS Constitution Museum acquired 48 new acquisitions through donations and purchases. It is through significant acquisitions like these that the Museum continues to grow the most comprehensive collection of material related to “Old Ironsides.” Among these is an outstanding collection that belonged to Capt. James Sever, first commander of USS Congress. The Sever Collection includes significant and abundant correspondence related to the first years of USS Constitution’s career under sail. The Museum also acquired two Thomas Sully portraits of Captain John Gwinn and his wife, Caroline S. Lynch Gwinn. Painted in 1837 and 1839, these portraits are unique as the only contemporary portraits of a Constitution captain and his wife in the Museum’s collection.

New Acquisition Highlights