Art Historian, Alumna Visited UMW

The University of Mary Washington’s Department of Art and Art History and the Wendy Shadwell ’63 Program Endowment in Art History sponsored a two-day visit from Allison Stagg ’02, a 2012 Jane and Morgan Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, on Nov.7 and 8.

Stagg presented a public lecture, “James Akin: The First American Caricaturist,” on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411. Stagg’s upcoming book and the basis for her lecture, “The Art of Wit: American Political Caricature,” is the result of her extensive research on U.S. political caricature between 1780 and 1830.

Allison Stagg '02 will visit UMW on Nov. 7-8.

Allison Stagg ’02 will visit UMW on Nov. 7-8.

James Akin was an American artist who, in 1804, published a visual satirical attack against President Thomas Jefferson through a caricature. Akin was the most infamous caricaturist of his time period. Politicians, contemporary artists and newspaper editors cautioned him that his prints would have a negative impact on his career, but his work influenced many popular caricaturists of the 19th century.

On Friday, Nov. 8, Stagg held an informal group talk about her career at 9:30 a.m. in Melchers Hall, Room 107. She also had individual appointments with interested students.

Stagg has roots in museum experience through curating exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morris-Jumel Mansion in New York and University College in London. She also organized exhibitions at the British Museum and National Portrait Gallery in London and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

A 2002 graduate of Mary Washington, Stagg has received many fellowships and grants from institutions such as the American Philosophical Society, the New York Public Library, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Yale University.