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‘SS ARGO under Full Sail’
(The first screw steamship to circumnavigate the Earth. Her screw could be feathered when required to travel under full sail)
Today Derek Gardner is considered to be one of the leading maritime artists of his era. He received many accolades for his work and won admiration of collectors and maritime experts for his ability to portray ships with great accuracy while conveying the colour, the luminosity and all the drama of the wind and sea.
His work is in a number of public collections including the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, the museums in Bermuda and Tenerife and in many private collections worldwide.
He came to international notice from 1968 when he began exhibiting at the Polak Gallery in London. A series of seven highly successful one-man exhibitions took place at the Polak Gallery in 1972, 1975, 1978, 1982, 1987, 1990 and 1995, each accompanied by a splendid catalogue where Derek documented all the works on display. The gallery location in central London meant that the Gardner paintings were finding a large enthusiastic audience from all parts of the world, most notably in the USA.
He was elected to membership of the Royal Society of Marine Artists in 1966 and, in both 1982 and 1984 he was a finalist in the Hunting Group Art Prizes organised by the Federation of British Artists. In 1988 the Royal Society of Marine Artists accorded him the unusual honour of electing him to be an Honorary Vice President for life.