Skip to Main Content
Lemieux Library
Lemieux Library

Citing Your Sources Guide

What's Needed to Cite an Artwork

In order to correctly cite an artwork, you need the following:

  • Information about the artwork
    • Artist name, if known
    • Name of artwork, if known
    • Work date
    • Location of repository or work (who owns it, like a museum)
    • Materials or medium
  • Information about the source
    • Institution granting permission for its use (if publishing the image), often owner or published source
    • Author, title, publisher information if image is taken from a book or article
    • Electronic resource or website name where you sourced the work, if applicable

***PLEASE NOTE: If your professor wants you to cite things in a specific way that is different than what is shown here, follow their instructions instead.

Citing a Photo of an Artwork

A white woman stands on a ladder writing the words "Edvard Munch"on a dark colored gallery wall with a few framed artworks around her.

(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

Examples:

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

APA: There's an Art To it

**The APA Publication Manual (6th ed.) has a section on audiovisual media (7.07, pp. 209–210), but it focuses mostly on audio, video, and TV. There are no guidelines for paintings, sculptures, or more complicated installations (e.g., a chair, a photo of a chair, and a definition of “chair”). So let’s use the Frankenreference concept to model a few ways to handle art in your reference list.

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, 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. 

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, 2021)

Citing Digital Artworks & Social Media

When you find an image

  • Make sure you note as much as you can when you find the image.
  • You'll need the who, what, & where of your image.
  • The reverse image search on Tineye.com sometimes helps find an original owner of an image if it's unknown.

Start by Collecting info

  • Title OR Description (When there is no title, create a description i.e. man holding a banana)
  • Contributor (can be a username, author, handle, artist, photographer, post creator, or corporation)
  • Website title
  • Publisher/Sponsor (Twitter, Facebook, Giphy, Getty Images, tumblr, FLICKR, Instagram, YouTube, Google Images, etc.).
  • URL (web address)
  • Date Published (When was it taken, created, uploaded, copyrighted, or updated?) OR (No date, Use n.d.)
  • Date Viewed/Accessed

MLA 8th ed.

@Username. "Full text of tweet." Twitter, Day month year posted, time posted, URL.

@SketchesbyBoze. "“Why are you reading books when the world is burning?” Because you weren’t made to binge the world’s destruction and there’s good in pursuing joy where you can find it. Fiction arms us with precisely the tools we need to overcome the crisis into which our world has fallen." Twitter, 19 March 2022, 12:54 PM, https://twitter.com/SketchesbyBoze/status/1505271621820596227

APA 6th ed.

@handle. (Year, month day posted). Full text of tweet. [Twitter post]. Retrieved from URL

@SketchesbyBoze. (2022, March 19). Why are you reading books when the world is burning?” Because you weren’t made to binge the world’s destruction and there’s good in pursuing joy where you can find it. Fiction arms us with precisely the tools we need to overcome the crisis into which our world has fallen. [Twitter post]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/SketchesbyBoze/status/1505271621820596227

Chicago 16th ed.

Lastname, Firstname [or single username]. Twitter post. Month day, year (time posted). URL.

@SketchesbyBoze.Twitter post. March 19, 2022 (12:54 PM). https://twitter.com/SketchesbyBoze/status/1505271621820596227

MLA 7th ed.

Username. "First several words of Tumblr post (if any, otherwise omit)..." Title of Tumblr blog, Day month year posted, time posted (if available), URL.

Cheshirelibrary. "I hang out at the library with all the other cool cats." Cheshirelibrary, 19 March 2022, 1:28 PM, https://cheshirelibrary.tumblr.com/post/189230463800

APA 6th ed.

Title of Tumblr blog. (Year, month day posted). First several words of Tumblr post (if any, otherwise omit)… [Tumblr post]. Retrieved from URL

Cheshirelibrary. (2022, March 19). I hang out at the library with all the other cool cats… [Tumblr post]. Retrieved from https://cheshirelibrary.tumblr.com/post/189230463800

Chicago 16th ed.

Username. Tumblr post. Month day, year posted (time posted, if available). URL.

Cheshirelibrary. Tumblr post. March 19, 20122 (1:28 PM).  https://cheshirelibrary.tumblr.com/post/189230463800

MLA 8th ed.

Lastname, Firstname [or single username]. (handle). "First several words of Instagram post (if any)..." Instagram, Day month year posted, URL.

example: Cincylibrary. "Libraries (and coffee) rule the world." Instagram, 5 Mar 2022, https://www.instagram.com/p/CauitTKMLph/

APA 6th ed.

handle. (Year, month day posted). First several words of Instagram post (if any)... [Instagram post]. Retrieved from URL

example: Cincylibrary. (2022, Mar 5). Libraries (and coffee) rule the world… [Instagram post]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/CauitTKMLph/

Chicago 16th ed.

Lastname, Firstname [or single username]. Instagram post. Month day, year posted. URL.

example: Cincylibrary. Instagram post. Mar 5, 2022.https://www.instagram.com/p/CauitTKMLph/

MLA 8th ed.

Lastname, Firstname [or username or page name]. "first several words of a facebook post..." Facebook, Day month year posted, time posted [if available], URL.

example: Alfie Scholars. "ScholarWorks at Seattle University Features Alfie Scholars’ Conference Papers." Facebook, 7 March 2022, https://www.facebook.com/alfiescholars/posts/4748284058554312.

APA 6th ed.

Lastname, Firstname. (Year, month day posted). First several words of Facebook post... [Facebook update]. Retrieved from URL

example: Alfie Scholars. (2022, March 7). ScholarWorks at Seattle University Features Alfie Scholars’ Conference Papers...  [Facebook post]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/alfiescholars/posts/4748284058554312

Chicago 16th ed.

Lastname, Firstname. Facebook post. Month day, year posted. URL

example: Alfie Scholars. Facebook post. March 7, 2022. https://www.facebook.com/alfiescholars/posts/4748284058554312

MLA 8th ed.

Lastname, Firstname [or single username]. "Title of YouTube Video." Publishing Website, Day month year posted, URL.

Seattle University. "Seattle University - Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons Time-lapse." YouTube, 13 Sep 2010, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY2aemMVuJI.

APA 6th ed.

Lastname, Firstname [or single username]. (Year, month day posted). Title of YouTube Video. [Video file]. Retrieved from URL

Seattle University. (2010, Sep 13). Seattle University - Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons Time-lapse. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY2aemMVuJI

Chicago 16th ed.

Lastname, Firstname [or single username]. "Title of YouTube Video." YouTube video, length of video, Month day, year posted. URL.

Seattle University. "Seattle University - Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons Time-lapse." YouTube video, 0:53, Sep 13, 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY2aemMVuJI

MLA, 8th ed.

Author [@Username]. “Caption of video.” TikTok, Date Posted, URL.

*Notes: Include author’s real name if known then their username in brackets unless their username is very similar to their real name. If there is no caption for the video, create a description to use in place of a title. Write it in plain text (no quotes/no italics), and capitalize only the first word and any proper nouns.

Example: Remillard, Lisa [@todaysnews]. “#tax #unemployment #stimulus I asked the IRS, YOUR most most popular questions.” TikTok, 5 Feb. 2021, vm.tiktok.com/ZMedmreM3/.

Example 2:  @cbsnews. “How NASA's Mars Perseverance rover will make the most difficult landing ever attempted on the red planet. #news #mars #nasa #edutok #stepbystep.” TikTok, 5 Feb. 2021, vm.tiktok.com/ZMedm1xu8/.

APA, 8th ed.

Last name, first name [or username]. (Year, Month day). Caption of tiktok [video]. TikTok. URL.

Cook, P. [@chemteacherphil]. (2021, September 17). Fighting fire with fire#sciencetok #learnontiktok [Video]. TikTok. https://www.tiktok.com/@chemteacherphil/video/7008953610872605957

Washington Post [@washingtonpost]. (2019, December 3). News is all around us #frozen #newsroom #newspaper [Video]. TikTok. https://www.tiktok.com/@washingtonpost/video/6765886712896818437

Chicago, 16th ed.

Lastname, Firstname [or username]. "Title or caption of Tiktok Video." Video, length of video, Month day, year posted. URL.

Example - FowlervilleLibrary. "We love our Coco-bean! #librarydog #library #librarytiktok #librariesoftiktok" Video, 0:36, June 17, 2021. https://www.tiktok.com/@fowlervillelibrary/video/6974795174287363333

Get Research Help

chat loading...

Student Engagement Librarian