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Art Citation Guide

Use this guide to find out how to cite art, images, & figures

citing photos of artworks

(MLA Guidelines) A Photograph of a Painting or Sculpture

  • Indicate the Institution or Private Owner
  • Indicate the City
  • Provide Complete Publication Information for the Source in Which the Photograph Appears
  • Include the Page, Slide, Figure, or Plate Number—Whichever is Relevant

Exp:

Cassatt, Mary.  Mother and Child.  Wichita Art Museum.  American Painting: 1560-1913.  By John Pearce.  New York: McGraw, 1964. 

El Greco.  Burial of Count Orgaz.  San Tomé, Toledo.  Renaissance Perspectives in Literature and the Visual Arts.  By Murray Roston.  Princeton: Princeton UP, 1987. 274

Work of art (painting, sculpture, photograph, etc.):

Artist. Title of art work. Date art work created. Medium of composition. Museum or collection owning work, location of museum or collection. 

Image of art work in book:

Artist. Title of art work. Date art work created. Museum or collection owning work, location of museum or collection. Title of book. Author or editor. Place of publication: Publisher, publication date. Page, slide, figure, or plate number.  Medium of publication (Print). 

Image of art work found on Library database:

Artist. Title of art work. Date art work created. Museum or collection owning work, location of museum or collection. Name of database. Medium of publication (Web). Date accessed/viewed online (day month year).

Image of art work found on website:

Artist. Title of art work. Date art work created. Museum or collection owning work, location of museum or collection. Name of website. Medium of publication (Web). Date accessed/viewed (day month year).

Photograph you took / personal photo (both formats are correct - use one):

Photographer. Title of photograph (italics)or description of photograph (not italized). Date photo taken. File extention of the photo (e.g. JPEG file, GIF file, PNG file).  

Description of photo, Place. Date photo taken. Personal photograph by author.

Advertisement:

Name of product, company, or institution in ad. Advertisement. Publication information based on medium of publication consulted

Work of art (painting, sculpture, photograph, etc.):

Artist, A. A. (year work created). Title of art work [Medium]. Museum location: Museum Name.

If artist unknown, start with title. If year unknown, use (n.d.) in place of year (n.d.=no date).

Image of art work found on website:

Artist, A. A. (year work created). Title of art work [Medium]. Retrieved from http//xxxx

Image of art work found on Library database:

Artist, A. A. (year work created). Title of art work [Medium]. Retrieved from Database Name.

Reproduction of art work in book, journal, etc.:

Use book or journal article citation;  In a text citation (see 'Citations within your paper' tab), include page number.  Any other details about art work can be included in your text rather than as part of the citation.

Photograph you took / personal photo:

No need to cite a photo that you took yourself as materials that are not cited are assumed to be your own work.

Advertisement:

Company name (year or year, month day). Title of advertisement, if one [Advertisement]. format based on medium of publication consulted. (see examples)