Prints of a New Kind with Allison Stagg

On Friday, September 15 historian Allison Stagg discussed her new book Prints of a New Kind: Political Caricature in the United States at JHC. She explained how the missteps and scandals of our fledgling government gave the first generation of American caricaturists ample fodder for creative parody. Using rare images from her archival research, Stagg demonstrated how events that were reported in early newspapers were translated into shocking cartoons and how the failings of the founders were unabashedly satirized for consumption by the public. Emulating notable British caricaturists like James Gilray, American artists like Amos Doolittle, William Charles and James Akin crafted unflattering portraits that fueled partisan discord such as the disdain the Federalists had for the Jeffersonians. For example, one of Akin’s most scalding caricatures attacked the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.

Watch the full video here.