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Art Citation Guide

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

Citation Styles

Print Source Captions

  • Artist’s name (first then last), the title of the artwork (italicize titles of paintings and sculptures but set all other titles in quotation marks), creation date, repository name (including city and state).

  • If the artwork appears in a published source (book, magazine, etc.), give the publication information in place of the repository or location.


Georgia O’Keeffe, The Cliff Chimneys, 1938, in Barbara Buhler Lyens, Georgia O’Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 25.

Electronic Source Captions

Artist’s name (first then last), the title of the artwork (italicize titles of paintings and sculptures but set all other titles in quotation marks), creation date, repository name (including city and state), title of the online site, format type, URL, access date (in parentheses).


Rothko, Mark. Orange and Red on Red. 1957, The Phillips Collection, Washington DC. Artstor.Database, JPG, (accessed May 20, 2008)

Chicago Style by Media Type

Chicago style is perhaps one of the more complex citation styles because it is really two systems under one name.  The Notes/Bibliography system is used mainly in the humanities.  The Author/Date style is typically used by those in the physical, natural, and social sciences.  The main difference between the two systems the preference for notes (Notes/Bibliography) or parenthetical in-text citations (Author/Date) within the document.  

The Chicago Manual of Style lists the specific elements needed to complete a bibliography.  Please refer to the manual for details on the citation style.


14.75, 14.76, 14.79 Books


Martin du Gard, Roger.  Lieutenant-Colonel de Maumort.Translated by Luc Brebion and Timothy Crouse.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000.


Shields, David.  The Thing about Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008.


Levitt, Steven D., and Stephen J. Dubner.  Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.  New York: William Morrow, 2005.


Jacobs, Sue-Ellen, Wesley Thomas, and Sabine Lang, eds.  Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituatlity.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997.


Young, Glenn, ed.  The Best American Short Plays, 2002-2003.  New York: Applause, 2007.


Feel free to Ask A Librarian for more help!

Please note that the following examples are taken from the Chicago Manual of Style in the Documentation 1 format for the notes and bibliography.  Please refer directly to the Manual if you have more questions.


14.175 Journals


Menjivar, Cecilia.  "Linimal Legality: Salvadoran and Guatemalan Immigrants' Lives in the United States."  American Journal of Sociology 111, no. 4 (2006): 999-1037.  doi:10.1086/499509.


Loften, Peter.  "Reverberations between Wordplay and Swordplay in Hamlet."  Aeolian Studies 2 (1989):12-29.


Abrams, Marshall.  "How Do Natural Selection and Random Drift Interact?"  Philosophy of Science 74 (December 2007): 666-79.  doi:10.1086/525612.


The bibliography should be arranged alphabetically and should contain every item cited in the document.  Feel free to Ask A Librarian for more help!

The Chicago Manual of Style requires that the database name be included in the reference list.  Below are some general examples taken from the manual.


14.271, 14.272  Databases


Howard, David H.  "Hospital Quality and Selective Contracting: Evidence from Kidny Transplantation."  Forum for Health Economics and Policy 11, no. 2 (2008).  PubMed Central (PMC2600561).


GenBack (for RP11-322N14 BAC [accession number AC017046]; accessed October 6, 2009).  http;//


NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (object name IRAS f00400+4059; accessed October 6, 2009).


Please refer to the manual, the links included in this guide or Ask A Librarian if you have any questions.

For books that come in many different formats, the Chicago Manual requires that you cite the format you consulted.  For more detailed information, please refer to the Chicago Manual of Style Online.  The following example is taken from the Chicago Manual of Style as a guide for citing e-books on e-reader devices.


Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Penguin Classics, 2007. Kindle edition.

For more specific information on the Chicago style, please refer to chapters 14-15 of the Chicago Manual of Style.

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