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History of Art & Design: Citing Images in Architecture, Art & Design

This guide will help to research works in visual arts and design.

Understanding Intellectual Property

To learn general information about Intellectual property, plagiarism and citing watch NJIT tutorial Intellectual Property in the Digital Age. Read more about Copyrights and Fair use at the Stanford University site

You can also consult books in the library:

General Rules

Citing images of works in architecture, art and design can be challenging. Ask your professor what the preferred citation style is for the course. When you document images you need to create captions and bibliographic citations. When an image appears in the text you should write a descriptive caption indicating the source of the image. Then you create a more detailed entry in your bibliography. The most important thing is to be consistent in formatting the text.

For citing images of works in the visual arts you need to include the following information:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Date
  • Location/Repository
  • Material/Medium
  • Dimensions (if applicable)

For example:

Braque, Georges. Houses at l"Estaque. 1908. Oil on canvas, 730x595 mm. Kunstmuseum, Berne.

Images from Books

You need to include the name of the artist/architect/designer, the work title, date it was created, repository/location (if applicable), and also the bibliographic information for the source in which this image appears (name of book's author, book title, publisher information, date, page and figure or plate number of the reproduction).

For example:

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museum del Prado, Madrid. Gardener's Art Through the Ages. Richard G.Tansey and Fred S.Kleiner. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace, 2003:939. Print.

Images from Print Articles

In addition to information on the work of art/architecture, include the name of the article's author, title of the article and periodical title. Follow with the publisher information, date/issue, page and figure number.

For example:

Borallo, Anna. Living Room in Paul Grey's Apartment in New York. Photograph by Nathan Kirkman. Skolnik, Lisa "High resolution". Metropolitan Home 1.5 (2009):117. Print.

Images Found on the Web

Include the artist's name, the year the work was created, and the institution (e.g. gallery or museum) that houses it (if applicable), followed by the city where it is located.

Include the complete information for the site where you found the image, including the date of access.

For example:

Rembrandt, Harmens van Rijn. The Return of the Prodigal Son. c.1665. Oil on canvas. 264x60cm. The State Hermitage Museum, St.Petersburg. The State Hermitage Museum. Web. 17 June 2009.<>

Images Found in Databases

Cite the relevant publication information as you would do for print, followed by the name of the database or subscription collection. End the citation with the medium of the publication - web, and the date of access. For articles that appear in an online-only format or in databases that do not provide a page number, use the abbreviation n.pag. for no pagination. If no publisher is listed, use N.P. If the work has an alternative name you might want to provide both.

For example:

Wright, Frank Lloyd. Elevation and Plan of the Fallingwater (Kaufmann House). 1936-38. Architecture Image Database, Littman Library, NJIT. AM-722. Web. 16 June 2009.

Subject Guide

Online Resources for Citation Management

The majority of databases listed in this guide provide instruction on how to cite materials in various styles. You can also export citations directly from Oxford Art Online, JSTOR/Artstor and Art Full Text. Consult each database for more specific instruction or read/watch library tutorials on using these databases.

Bibliographic management software enables you to organize references and bibliographies, to import references from electronic databases and the web, and to build a bibliography according to selected styles.

You can use Microsoft Word or special tools for citation management that will do the formatting for you. Among them are EndNote which can be downloaded from the NJIT website, or Zotero and EasyBib which are freely available on the web.

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