Through the centuries artists have captured and preserved Stafford scenes and sites. Portraits, beginning in the Federal era, preserved likenesses of major Stafford historic figures. Prior to that, only the most distinguished figures (such as George Washington and George Mason IV and their ladies) illustrated the times. Many Federal and Antebellum figures were captured in paint and, after the 1840s appearance of cameras, in photos.
Civil War art captured numerous Stafford sites and extensive views of the Union Army of the Potomac. These, and post-Civil War art, added a new dimension of the common scenes and people.
Resident artists, such as Gari Melchers (image is of his painting of Stafford Heights) and Palmer Hayden added a professional element. Modern artists have continued this tradition.