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Bonhams is selling a painting of the epic fight between H.M.S. Shannon and the U.S.S. Chesapeake during the Anglo-American War of 1812-14 - one of the most renowned naval encounters of the nineteenth century and arguably the quickest and most decisive frigate action ever fought.

This oil painting by John Steven Dews (British, born 1949), titled 'Don't give up the ship - Action between Chesapeake and Shannon off Boston 19th May 1813' is estimated to sell for £60,000-80,000 at Bonhams Marine sale on 24 April 2013 in London. In this magnificent picture, Steven Dews has celebrated the bi-centenary of the battle.

Captain Philip Broke, in command of H.M.S. Shannon, had come upon the Chesapeake refitting in Boston Harbour and promptly challenged her to come out and fight. At about noon on 1st June 1813, Captain James Lawrence brought Chesapeake out into the open sea and after a furious annihilating action lasting just fifteen minutes, was forced to surrender.

After first firing two devastating broadsides, Broke led his boarding party onto Chesapeake but was so badly wounded that he had to relinquish his command. Casualties on both sides were extraordinarily high – 48 Americans, including Captain Lawrence, were killed and 96 wounded whilst Shannon suffered only slightly less with 33 dead and 50 wounded.

Despite his injuries, Captain Broke survived to be rewarded with a baronetcy and enduring fame, although he never recovered sufficiently to be able to return to active service.

Steven Dews was born in Beverley, North Humberside in 1949. His start in the art world was not auspicious as he failed his art 'A' level and was told that fame usually comes only after an artist has died. Despite this tough beginning he has risen to become Britain's most sought-after living marine artist. His reputation is internationally recognised and his commissions will keep him busy for years to come.

Steven Dews can remember drawing his first picture of a boat aged about five when he and his two brothers visited their grandfather, who was then Assistant harbourmaster at the Hull Docks. The boys were brought up on a tradition of the sea, the family being able to trace their nautical connections back to the seventeenth century.

When they grew up, Steven's two brothers both followed seafaring careers but Steven, who had been turned down by various naval institutions, settled for Hull Regional College of Art where he graduated in Technical Graphics and Illustration. He moved back to his parents and borrowed a friend's derelict farmhouse on the northern banks of the Humber. Here, where the light, the skies and the atmosphere were perfect, Steven spent hours painting in a makeshift studio.

In 1976, his first exhibition was mounted. Virtually the whole body of work was sold on the first night and seventeen commissions were received. The following year he had an exhibition in San Francisco which sold out to large critical acclaim and heralded a secure future as an artist. As a consequence of the number of commissions gained from this exhibition, much of Steven's work from this period was to cross the Atlantic.

As Steven's reputation blossomed, so did his lifelong affair with the sea. He was able to buy his first yacht and, when not painting the sea, was out sailing on it. In his studio he concentrated on the meticulous detail essential for the accuracy and realism of his painting. He lives and loves the subject he paints, with much of his spare time spent sailing. 'How is it possible to express the air and sea and sky without having experienced the elements, knowing how a ship works, pulled the ropes?' he asks. 'There is no escape from reality on a boat', Steven says, 'the sea is a great equalizer of all men'.

His pictures also formed a major one-man touring fund-raising exhibition opened by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales in support of the excavation of the site of the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's warship. The exhibition was scheduled for twenty-four destinations around the UK including the National Maritime Museum, and closed at Amoco's headquarters in Chicago.

Further prestigious commissions followed, including 'The Norland Under Attack During the Falklands' Campaign', for North Sea Ferries and 'The Wrecking of The Star of Poland off the Coast of China' for the San Francisco Maritime Museum. In 1985 he was commissioned by the syndicate backing Britain's entry for the America's Cup in Perth, Australia, to execute two paintings to raise money for the challenge. In 1988, the Maritime Services Board of Australia commissioned him to paint 'The First Fleet's arrival in Botany Bay' and the Bicentennial Celebrations on Sydney Harbour which involved two trips to Australia. BP Marine and The Woolwich Building Society commissioned works for their calendars, both to be made up solely from Dews' marine subjects. Between commissions there was an exhibition in Dubai and, back at home, a Dews was included in a major exhibition of marine art at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull.

In 1995 Dews was asked to produce a painting to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the formation of the New York Yacht Club and in 1996 he held a sell-out exhibition of paintings in Bermuda.

Foundation Unveils New Designs for National Army Museum Details announced for five spaces in the future home of Army history

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Army Historical Foundation revealed plans for five public spaces to be featured in the National Museum of the United States Army. The Museum, a permanent tribute that will tell the storied history of America’s oldest and largest service, is expected to open at Fort Belvoir, Va. in 2015 and welcome 750,000 visitors each year. The U.S. Army is the only military service without a national museum.

Each of the public spaces – Army Theater, Education Pavilion, Medal of Honor Garden, Veterans’ Hall, and Wall of Honor - will provide visitors an interactive and engaging experience. These spaces will tell the story of the 30 million men and women who have worn the Army uniform, and forever preserve these Soldiers’ unwavering bravery and commitment to our nation since 1775.

Army Theater

This panoramic theater-in-the-round will engage, educate, inspire, and entertain using a variety of dramatic theatrical techniques. The 360 degree projection display will immerse the audience in an auditory and visual experience as they travel alongside Soldiers from basic training to combat in defense of our nation, and from peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance to the advent of technologies and services that have transformed our daily lives.

Education Pavilion

The Education Pavilion will include an extensive experiential learning area dedicated to the Army’s interest in advancing geography, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (G-STEM) education programs among students of all ages. The Pavilion will feature classroom space and interactive learning tools such as motion-sensitive smart tables and desk-mounted computers. The space will grow and evolve in tandem with technology, allowing room for future state-of-the-art learning methods to be seamlessly incorporated into the Pavilion’s unique Experiential Learning Center. Last year, Lockheed Martin Corporation pledged $10 million to sponsor the Pavilion.

Medal of Honor Garden

The Medal of Honor, established by President Lincoln in 1862, recognizes the extraordinary service and sacrifice of recipients of the Army Medal of Honor. The garden, an outdoor rooftop space, will identify and honor the 2,403 Soldiers who to date have received this award, the highest recognition of valor bestowed upon members of the Army. The garden will feature three sections, dedicated to the intrepidity, gallantry, and valor of Medal of Honor recipients.

Veterans’ Hall

The Veterans’ Hall will be a multi-functional space for reunions, meetings, presentations, lectures, and other official events. The Hall will house interactive features such as the Registry of the American Soldier, artifacts, and special exhibits. Veterans’ service organizations and other affinity groups have the opportunity to sponsor the hall, and have their organization’s name permanently displayed on its wall. The Veterans of Foreign Wars and Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, Inc. were the first two major sponsors of the Hall, each having contributed lead gifts of $500,000.

Wall of Honor (Colors of Courage)

The Wall of Honor will be showcased in the Museum lobby to symbolize and chronicle the history of the 11 major wars the Army has fought in to date. It will feature replicas of 185 campaign streamers affixed to the Army flag in recognition of the selfless service and courage of our Soldiers.

These public spaces will allow visitors to become active participants in the retelling of the Army’s service.

About The Army Historical Foundation

The Army Historical Foundation establishes, assists, and promotes programs and projects which preserve the history of the American Soldier and promote public understanding of and appreciation for the contributions by all components of the U.S. Army and its members. The Foundation serves as the Army’s official fundraising entity for the Capital Campaign for the National Museum of the United States Army. The Museum will be constructed at Fort Belvoir, Va., to honor the service and sacrifice of all American Soldiers who have served since the Army’s inception in 1775. The internationally renowned architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is nearing completion of the Museum’s design, while Christopher Chadbourne & Associates (CCA) of Boston has completed the design of the exhibits and galleries. Design and Productions Incorporated of Lorton, Va. will provide fabrication services. For more information on the Foundation and the National Museum of the United States Army, visit

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