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.
Featuring 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, Prints of a New Kind will be welcomed by scholars and students of early American history and art history as well as visual, material, and print culture.
“Thoroughly engaging with a well-crafted narrative, Prints of a New Kind is a long-awaited study filling a significant void in the history of American print culture. Allison Stagg sets the stage for a modern and popularized notion of political satire. This elegantly written book, lavishly illustrated, places the American tradition of caricature as separate from its European origins, with its own merits and history worthy of detailed examination.”—Nancy Siegel, author of Along the Juniata: Thomas Cole and the Dissemination of American Landscape Imagery