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Art FAQ: Citing sources

Answers to Basic Information Questions at Marquand (Art) Library


1. Consult the Princeton Dept. of Art & Archaeology's Department Style Sheet .

2. See the Art Bulletin style guide (College Art Association).

3. Style Manual for Art History (Chicago Manual examples), from Lee Sorensen, Visual Studies Librarian at Duke University.

4. See Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing about Art (multiple eds.). Consult the latest one at Princeton for how to cite books, articles, etc., as well as how to compile a list of illustrations.

Citation management



Citing Works of Art, Exhibition Catalogs, & Wall Text

See the following for guidance: 

1. Turabian, Kate L.  A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th ed.  Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

See section 17.8.1 Visual Sources, pp. 200-201; and, 17.8.7 and 19.8.7. Texts in the Visual and Performing Arts: Art Exhibition Catalogs, p. 204; 269-70.

Copies available in the reserve reading room in Firestone, in General and Humanities Reference (Ready Reference) in Firestone, Marquand Reference and Mendel; a newer 2013 ed. is available as well, call number LB2369.T8 2013.
(latest ed. is 9th ed., 2018: Part 2 on Source Citation includes "Sources in the Visual and Performing Arts" under both Notes-Bibliography Style, and Author-Date Style; Part 3 deals with Tables and Figures (towards the end). 

2.  Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th ed. New York: Modern Language Association, 2003.

See section  5.8.6 A Painting, Sculpture, or Photograph, pp. 201-202.

Copies available in Architecture, Stokes, Firestone, General and Humanities Reference (Ready Reference) in Firestone, Lewis, and Marquand libraries: LB2369.G53 2003. (7th ed., 2009, 8th ed., 2016 and 9th ed., 2021 are also now available).  Online version: MLA Handbook Plus (9th ed). From the Index under Visual Art:

3. The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2003.

See section 17.240 Exhibition Catalogs.

Multiple copies are available in campus libraries, and online (Princeton only: includes 16th and 17th eds).

4. For museum wall text accompanying a work(s) of art:

a. If the information on the museum label also appears on the museum's website or in a collection catalog (which it often does), those sources can be cited instead.  If not, include all information that may be important, such as:


23. Museum label for artist, Title of artwork, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 23 August 2004 [optional: name and date of exhibition, additional information of interest].


Metropolitan Museum of art. Museum label for artist, Title of artwork, New York, 23 August 2004.

-New School University, New York, New York

b.  To cite materials posted at a museum, use the following style:

Format of information (wall text, object label, brochure), Gallery Name, Number or Exhibition Title, Museum Name, City, State.

example:  Wall text, Playful Performers, National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C.

-University of Maryland,

And, if for a temporary exhibition, include the date(s).

Assistant Art Librarian

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Rebecca Friedman
she, her, hers
Firestone Library, A-15G
609-258-3163 or -3783
Subjects: Art & Archaeology