Image Workstation Help

How do I cite an image or work of art?

When included in an academic paper or thesis, images and illustrations need to have proper citations. According to style manual guidelines, images, artwork, or photographs used in publications or papers should be accompanied by a caption. These captions are often compiled into a list of illustrations or an appendix. It is appropriate to include information about both the image and the source of the image in captions/notes and lists of illustrations/bibliographies. Images from print sources and electronic or web resources are sometimes cited differently.

The following recommendations outline how to cite images with an emphasis on works of art. Please note that these are only recommendations - check with your professor or advisor to determine which style your department requires and always consult a style manual or librarian to verify formatting guidelines.

You will need the following information about the image and its source to cite it properly:

Information about image

  • Artist name, if known
  • Title of the work, if known. If not, describe the image.
  • Work date
  • Repository (museum or archive) or owner of work
  • Location of repository or work
  • Dimensions of the work
  • Materials or medium (such as oil on canvas, marble, found objects, etc.)

Information about source

  • Institution granting permission for use (often owner or published source)
  • Author, title, publisher information, date, and page, figure or plate number of the reproduction if the image is from a book
  • Electronic resource or web site name, address (URL), and the date you retrieved the image

 

Citation styles

MLA: MLA handbook for writers of research papers, used in literature, arts, and humanities.

APA: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, used in the fields of psychology and education. 

Chicago: Chicago Manual of Style, used in publishing as well as many other fields.

Turabian: A manual for writers of term papers, theses, and dissertations that can be used as the default manual when no other manual is required. (Largely based on Chicago.)


MLA

Captions
  • Images should be labeled Figure (usually abbreviated Fig.), assigned an Arabic numeral, and given a caption.
  • The caption should appear directly below the image.
  • Image captions should always include image creator's first name, last name (if available), title, work date, and the source of the image.
  • For a more descriptive caption, it is acceptable to include a description of materials, measurements, the institution or individual who owns the work, and the location of the institution.
  • Note whether the image came from a print, electronic, or other source and cite appropriately.
Print Source Caption Example

Fig. 4. Frank Duveneck, Portrait of Maggie Wilson, Oil on board, 38.10 x 30.48 cm, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Unsuspected Genius: the Art and Life of Frank Duveneck, by Robert Neuhaus  (San Francisco: Bedford Press, 1987) 227.

Electronic Source Caption Example

Fig. 9. Amasis Painter, Lekythos; Women Weaving, 17.15 cm height, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Accessed Jan. 12, 2007 from the Reed College CONTENTdm database <http://cdm.reed.edu/u?/vrcwork,38536>.

Other Source Caption Example

Fig. 13. Columbia River at Dawn. Personal photograph by author. 13 March 2008.

Appendix or List of Images

Images and figures are often compiled into an Appendix, Bibliography, or List of Figures. Check with your advisor for specific requirements.

 

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APA

Captions
  • Images should be labeled Figure (usually abbreviated Fig.), assigned an Arabic numeral, and given a caption.
  • The caption should appear directly below the image.
  • Include, at minimum, artist (last name, first name), title, type of work, work date, and source.
  • For more descriptive captions, it is acceptable to include materials, measurements, the institution or individual who owns the work, and the location of the institution.
  • Consult your advisor for caption requirements.                                                           

Print Source Caption Examples

Fig. 2. Vermeer, Jan (ca. 1658-1660) The Kitchen Maid, [painting]. From Vermeer and the invention of seeing (p. 102) by Bryan Jay Wolf, 2001, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Fig. 8. Warhol, Andy (1956) Young Man with Pears, [drawing], ink and pencil on paper, 17 x 20 inches. Anthony D'Offay Gallery, London, England. From The Contemporary Print: From Pre-pop to Postmodern (p. 61) by Susan London Tallman, 1996, London: Thames and Hudson.

Electronic Source Caption Example

Fig. 14. Weston, Edward (1930) Cypress Root and Succulents, [photograph], Retrieved August 19, 2007, from Edward Weston website: http://www.edward-weston.com/edward_weston_point_lobos_8.htm

Appendix or List of Images

If your advisor requires a list of images, use the caption format.

 

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Chicago

Captions
  • Label all images with figure or fig. followed by Arabic numerals.
  • Notes often include: artist’s name (first name, last name), title (italicized), date, materials, measurements, repository and location (if known), and image source.
  • Source, whether print or electronic, should be cited as per Chicago manual instructions.
Print Source Caption Example

Figure VI. Mark Rothko, Orange and Red on Red, 1957, oil on canvas, 69 x 67 inches, The Phillips Collection, Washington DC. In Mark Rothko: The Works on Canvas, by David Anfam. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press, 1998, pg. 84.

Electronic Source Caption Example

Figure VI. Mark Rothko, Orange and Red on Red, 1957, oil on canvas, 69 x 67 inches, The Phillips Collection, Washington DC. Artstor. http://www.artstor.org. (accessed May 20, 2008)

Appendix or List of Images

If your advisor requires a list of images, use the caption citation and reversing the artist’s name (last name, first name).

 

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Turabian

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.
Example

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).

    Example

    Rothko, Mark. Orange and Red on Red. 1957, The Phillips Collection, Washington DC. Artstor.Database, JPG, http://www.artstor.org. (accessed May 20, 2008)

    Appendix or List of Images

    Check with your advisor to determine if a list of images is required. If so, use the same format for notes in the bibliography.

     


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    Any comments,  corrections, or suggestions can be sent to beiriger@reed.edu.