New Auction Acquisitions at the USS Constitution Museum

. May 12, 2008

CHARLESTOWN, Mass – The USS Constitution Museum recently seized an unparalleled opportunity and purchased at a Sotheby’s auction one of its most significant acquisitions ever: a series of four paintings depicting USS CONSTITUTION’s battle against HMS GUERRIERE on August 19, 1812, by Salem artist George Ropes, Jr., dated 1813. These four paintings illustrate the first sighting, engagement, GUERRIERE’s dismasting and finally her ultimate destruction in flames. They are among the earliest images of this seminal battle, and in fact, depict the very moment CONSTITUTION earns her nickname “Old Ironsides” and becomes the important national symbol that endures today.

“The USS Constitution Museum serves as the memory and educational voice of USS CONSTITUTION, by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the stories of ‘Old Ironsides’ and the people associated with her” said USS Constitution Museum President, Burt Logan. “Preservation and display of these paintings is critical in keeping this important moment in American history alive for generations to come. To ensure that the story of this national treasure is indeed accessible to all, admission to the Museum is always free of charge.”

The Ropes’ paintings include images of sailors climbing aloft to ready the Ship for battle and the dramatic destruction of the defeated British ship. The paintings will become the Museum’s signature images and will be displayed in an exhibit from May 14-November 14 2008. After that time, they will be rotated on and off display, used as aids in educational programs, and reproduced on items in the store for years to come. The Museum will showcase these paintings in a hands-on, minds-on exhibit for families called, “Sailors Speak: Life Aboard USS CONSTITUTION in 1812” opening next spring.

About the USS Constitution Museum

The USS Constitution Museum serves as the memory and educational voice of “Old Ironsides.” Family-friendly, hands-on exhibits share the stories of USS CONSTITUTION and those who shaped her history. The Museum, located adjacent to USS CONSTITUTION in the historic Charlestown Navy Yard, is open seven days a week, hours vary depending on season. There is no charge for admission, but donations are welcome. For more information, please visit http://www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org/

Category: Auction News

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