2017-2018 Visual Culture Program Research Fellow

Allison Stagg, Freie Universität Berlin

Allison Stagg is a visiting professor in American Art at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität. For her current book project Prints of a New Kind: Political Caricature in the United States, 1789-1832, Stagg examines engraved caricatures issued before the main medium for this genre of print became lithography. Her research, a long overdue rereading of caricatures of the Early Republic, explores the professional networks of early American caricaturists and the market for their works.

During her fellowship, Stagg’s work primarily focused on the artists James Akin and William Charles. She reviewed select Library Company graphics and manuscript collections for references and representations of their professional life, affiliations, and collaborations. The Library’s rare 1839 Akin watercolor The Country Club, strong holdings of late 18th- and early 19th-century political cartoons, as well as correspondence by and about early Philadelphia artists and engravers in the Rush Family Papers and McAllister Collection further informed Stagg’s  understanding of the role of Early Republic caricatures in American visual culture.