Discover why the nation’s gratitude and cheering continue long after Perry’s death- defying battle and learn about the two painted masterpieces that immortalize it. Explore the run up to the War of 1812; learn about Commodore Oliver H. Perry’s Herculean tests; and review Julian O. Davidson’s many artistic achievements.

Art: The Battle of Lake Erie

With the nautical eye of an experienced sailor, 19th century marine artist Julian Oliver Davidson created a masterpiece portraying the pivotal moment in a battle that permanently tipped the global balance of naval power. For an overview of the entire battle, Thomas Birch’s painting takes us to a safer distance just outside the lines of engagement.

Julian Oliver Davidson, Marine Artist

J.O. Davidson was a preeminent 19th century America marine painter and illustrator. His work is regaining international recognition and many of his paintings have become national treasures. Review his life, artistic style, catalogue of work and links to museums that exhibit his work.

Erie Maritime Museum

Located near the frontier site where Commodore Perry’s fleet was built against all odds, the Museum houses an extensive exhibition devoted to the War of 1812 and gives a place of honor to Julian O. Davidson’s masterpiece. The restored U.S. Brig Niagara can be boarded and explored in the adjoining harbor.

PA Flagship Niagara License Plate

Issued during Tom Ridge’s governorship, this prizewinning license plate portrays Davidson’s painting, symbolizes pride in the Flagship Niagara, and acknowledges the interstate cooperation that was needed for victory.

Stewards of a Masterpiece

The pride that Maritime Collectors, Inc. has experienced as steward of this American treasure transcends ownership. Sharing this masterpiece with a new generation is a privilege, a challenge and a responsibility. Contact Us

The Battle of Lake Erie

The story leading up to and following this battle is laced with revenge, hardship, duels, Kentucky sharpshooters, killer insects, death-defying courage, and the attempted “swiftboating” of an authentic American hero.

Oliver Hazard Perry: Hero

Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry was a logistical genius, a brilliant strategist and a participant in nine military theatres around Lake Erie. He had more luck – and more adventures – than Indiana Jones. After his stunning victory, his popularity was comparable to that of the Beatles.

The War of 1812

In 1776, The American Revolution was won, but thirty six years later, economic independence had yet to be gained; free trade, sailor’s rights, free land, and secure borders were still contested issues. Perry’s victory in the Battle of Lake Erie was the turning point in securing our Canadian border, permitting westward expansion, and snatching naval ascendance from the British. Battles continued to be fought elsewhere – the British burned the Capitol in Washington, D.C., and they lost heavily in New Orleans -- but in 1815, the Peace of Ghent finally ended the war.

Bicentennial Challenge

The American coastline of Lakes Erie and Ontario runs for 522 miles and borders on four states, but exhibition planning and funding sources do not always extend across state lines.  The best exhibition and media planning will find ways to join together in interstate cooperation, just as Oliver Hazard Perry did. Contact Us