Maritime Art Collection Donated to US Naval Academy

An art collector donated reproductions of 10 historical paintings from his maritime collection to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Oct 24.

The collection, donated by William I. Koch, will be on display in Smoke Hall and contains paintings that depict various naval vessels and sea battles from the War of 1812.

The collection’s centerpiece, a painting by Thomas Henry, depicts close quarters battle between USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon. It pays tribute to Capt. James Lawrence and the legacy of his dying command, “Don’t give up the ship,” which became a popular battle cry and was adopted by Lawrence’s friend, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, as the battle flag on his flagship, USS Lawrence.

The Naval Academy borrowed extensively from Koch’s collection in 2013 and displayed the items in the “Seas, Lakes and Bay: The Naval War of 1812,” art exhibit in Mahan Hall. Combined with related items from the Naval Academy collection, this exhibit provided a detailed overview of the naval battles in the war and described the impact that this time period had on the future development of the U.S. naval fleet.

The collection will serve as a reminder to the midshipmen of their naval history and heritage, and the sacrifices made to protect the nation, according to Koch’s friend, Roy Bell, Naval Academy Alumni.

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Press release, Image: US Navy