Press Release  

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Naval Academy War of 1812 Exhibit Closes Nov. 3

Posted on: October 31, 2013 08:00 EDT

Press Release #: 053-13

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Naval Academy’s “Sea, Lakes & Bay: The Naval War of 1812” exhibit in Mahan Hall is coming to a close but visitors can still view it through Sunday, Nov. 3.

The exhibit is open to the public, free of charge Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The exhibit features hundreds of objects from the Naval Academy Museum collection and 86 artifacts and pieces of art on loan from the collection of Mr. William I. Koch.

The exhibit is a part of the “Seas, Lakes & Bay: The Naval War of 1812” walking tour celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Annapolis War of 1812. The self-guided walking tour throughout the Naval Academy and the city of Annapolis consists of 10 stops of historical significance to the War of 1812. The self-guided walking tour continues until Oct. 2014.

The walking tour and exhibition were made possible by Koch, whose generous support and loan of his inspired collection of historic maritime paintings and artifacts provide a glimpse into life on the seas during the War of 1812.

“I was very happy to partner and support the bicentennial celebrations of the War of 1812 in Annapolis and at the U.S. Naval Academy.  I thank USNA for the opportunity to participate in such an outstanding exhibit,” said Koch. “It was a unique opportunity to share my personal passion for the stories from this war and to highlight the importance of the war to our national identity. It also afforded me the chance to reconnect with my family roots, make new friends, and establish a friendship with the U.S. Navy.”

The items included in the exhibit are documented in a catalog featuring full color images of the artwork and artifacts as well as a history of the war written by naval historians William Dudley and Scott Harmon. The catalog includes battle maps of the significant naval battles of the war. The corresponding War of 1812 website also features elements from the exhibit and the walking tour.

“These elements have combined to provide a comprehensive tool for educators, historians and the general public to directly experience sites, artifacts and artwork that work together to tell the story of the war,” said Sara Phillips, Naval Academy architect and project manager for the exhibit. 

Approximately 19,000 visitors have viewed the exhibit since it opened April 1. Comments submitted through the War of 1812 website indicate visitors were impressed.

“The exhibit at Mahan Hall was outstanding,” wrote one visitor. “This was truly the finest historical exhibit I have ever seen. We were so impressed with the interpretive panels, the ship models, the artwork and the artifacts.”

Another visitor described it as “by far the best 1812 display I've ever seen.”

The exhibit has been used by the Brigade of Midshipmen, local educators and other programs, including the State of Maryland’s Academic Conference on the War of 1812 which was hosted at the Naval Academy in June.

Eight local schools have also made field trips to the museum through the National Sailing Hall of Fame’s educational program. More than 600 students participated in these trips, which included a visit to the Naval Academy’s exhibit and an afternoon on the Pride of Baltimore II, a reproduction of an 1812-era topsail schooner privateer in Baltimore, Md.

Copies of the walking tour and exhibit map are available at the Naval Academy Visitor Center, the Naval Academy Museum, the Maryland State House, the Historic Annapolis Foundation on Main Street and the Annapolis Visitor Center.

Visitors may enter through Gate 3 (Maryland Avenue – recommended) or Gate 1 (at the intersection of King George Street and Randall Street) and will be required to show a picture ID.  All bags are subject to search. Vehicles without a Department of Defense or USNA credentialed driver or passenger are not permitted to drive onto the academy grounds. Visitors are encouraged to park at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (price to park is $5) and ride the circulator bus to the academy.  Vehicles with handicapped placards or license plates may enter through Gates 1 or 8.

For more information about the Naval Academy please visit: www.usna.edu or our Facebook page. 

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