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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, arts and design can be challenging. Ask your professor what is the style appropriate for the course. When you document images you need to create captions and bibliographic citations. When 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. Read Library tutorial How to Create Bibliographies to learn more on various styles and on how to cite different sources.  The most important is to be consistent in formatiing the text.

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

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

For example: Braque, Georges Houses at l"Estaque. 1908. Oil on canvas, 730x595mm. Kunstmuseum, Berne.

    To see more examples consult tutorial How to Cite Images on the library website

    You can also watch a video posted at the Purdue University Website

    If image is Found in a Book

    You need to include name of an artist/architect/designer, a 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.

    If image is Found in a Print Article

    In addition to information on work of art/architecture include name of 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 Apaertment in New York. Photograph by Nathan Kirkman. Skolnik, Lisa "High resolution". Metropolitan Home 1.5 (2009):117. Print.

    If Image is 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.<>

    If Image is Found in a Database

    Cite the relevant publication information as you would do for print one followed by name of the database or subscription collection. End the citation with the medium of 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 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 listed in this guide databases provide instruction on how to cite materials in various styles. You can also export citations directly from Oxford Art Online, JSTOR, Art Full Text (you need to consult each of them for more specific instruction or read/watch library tutorials on using these databases).

    Bibliographic management software enables 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 formatting for you. Among them EndNote (it can be download from the NJIT website), or freely available on the web Zotero and EasyBib. 

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