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Art & Art History

Art images and resources for many topics, including American Art, Medieval Art, Modern Art, Renaissance and Baroque Art, Scandinavian Art, and Women Artists

Citing Works of Art (Chicago Style)

Art History most commonly uses the Chicago Style for citation. (MLA style is also preferred by some.)

Citing works of art and online images are special cases that are often buried and hard to find in the style manuals. We've included some quick examples below.

Don't hesitate to ask a librarian if you're having problems!

See the Chicago/Turabian page of our Style Guides reference page for more help with using these or other citation styles.


Works of Art in a Museum

Artist's last name, first name. Title of the Work. Place where found, location of place where found. Composition year.

Klimt, Gustav. The Kiss. Oesterreichische Galerie im Belvedere, Vienna, Austria. 1907.

Photographs of Works of Art (i.e., from a book)

Artist's last name, first name. Title of the Work. Place where found, location of place where found, in Author's first and last name, Title of Book in which photograph appears. Place of publication: Publisher, year, page number.

Degas, Edgar. Woman With Binoculars. Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden, in Barbara Ehrlich White, Impressionists Side by Side: Their Friendships, Rivalries, and Artistic Exchanges. New York: Knopf, 1996, 192.

Images Found Online

Artist's last name, first name. Title of the Work. Place where found, location of place where found. Composition year. Web address.

Savage, Augusta. Gamin. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC. 1929.

Capturing and Using Citations

Elihu Vedder painting

Vedder, Elihu, 1836-1923. 1864. “Bed of the Torrent Mugnone, near Florence.”
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

An academic paper about art is still an academic paper — one that needs to meet scholarly standards for quotation and citation. Think of this as a way to leave breadcrumbs that direct other scholars back to the things you focus on. You should put no image in your project, paper, or presentation without a proper citation.

That said, it is sometimes hard to find and capture citation-worthy information about an artwork you find on the Web. We at Lindell Library recommend using RefWorks to store information about your sources, and the database Artstor for finding images. Here is a quick primer on how to import citation information from Artstor to RefWorks:

  • Have opened a text document (such as Notepad or Microsoft Word) where you can paste in notes as you make them
  • In Artstor, enter a search for an image you want to use
  • On the search results screen, click the image to select it
  • Click on Generate Citation
  • Choose the citation format you want to use (e.g. Chicago) and copy and paste this citation into your text document. Click on the X to close Artstor's Citation page
  • Still, in the Artstor image, click on Link
  • This saves the Artstor URL to the clipboard. Paste this as well into the text document, under the citation
  • You can either save this text document and use it when you want to know where a particular artwork came from, or (recommended) you can transfer that information to RefWorks:
  • Open RefWorks and log in to your Augsburg-sponsored account
  • Click the plus sign + to Add a reference > Create a new reference
  • Change the drop-down box at the top to Artwork
  • Copy and paste the citation from the text document into the Notes field
  • Click on Add more fields, enter URL, and add a URL field to the record
  • Copy and paste the URL from the text document into your new URL field
  • Use the information from your Notes field to populate the Title, Artist, and Year fields
  • Check Is Electronic
  • Click Save

You now have a safe electronic location (that you can access from many platforms) where this artwork's citation information is stored.