Allison M. Stagg’s first book, Prints of a New Kind: Political Caricature in the United States, 1789–1828 (Penn State University Press, 2023) details the political strategies and scandals that inspired the first generation of American caricaturists to share news and opinions with their audiences in shockingly radical ways.
Complementing studies on British and European printmaking, this book is a survey and catalogue of all known American political caricatures created in the country’s transformative early years, as the nation sought to define itself in relation to European models of governance and artistry.
Allison Stagg examines printed caricatures that mocked events reported in newspapers and politicians in the United States’ fledgling government, reactions captured in the personal papers of the politicians being satirized, and the lives of the artists who satirized them. Stagg’s work fills a large gap in early American scholarship, one that has escaped thorough art-historical attention because of the rarity of extant images and the lack of understanding of how these images fit into their political context.
The book features 125 images, many published here for the first time since their original appearance, and a comprehensive appendix that includes a checklist of caricature prints with dates, titles, artists, references, and other essential information.
The Jay Heritage Center in Rye, Westchester County, NY will host Allison Stagg to talk about Prints of a New Kind on Friday, September 15, 2023 for a free talk, reception and book signing. You can register for that event here.
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