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AHIS 3959: Art History Senior Research Seminar

This guide supports the thesis course for art history

Citing and Captioning in Art History

Citation Basics

Most professors of art history require that you use of the Chicago citation style to create bibliographies and footnotes. There is also a variant of Chicago known as the Turabian citation style that is used as well. Because citations direct your reader back to the work of scholarship you are using in your research, they will differ slightly depending on the type of research material you are working with. For example, an article in a book will include information about the publisher of the book, while an article in a journal will include the name of the journal and its volume and issue number. It is best to include as much information about the resources you are working with as possible so anyone who wishes to look at those resources will be able to find them.

Online Citation Style Guides


Making Image Captions

Image captions should include both the location of the work of art itself, as well as the location of where you found the image. Below is an example of an image from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection and how you would cite it depending on where you found the image.




Elements of a Caption

Title: Josephine Baker

Artist: Adolph de Meyer

Date: 1825 - 1826

Medium: Direct carbon print

Location of work: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Where image was found:
Caption (artwork viewed in person):

Fig. 1. Adolf de Meyer, Josephine Baker, 1825 - 26. Direct carbon print. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Caption (online): 

Fig. 1. Adolf de MeyerJosephine Baker, 1825 - 26. Direct carbon print. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Caption (in print):

Fig. 1. Adolf de MeyerJosephine Baker, 1825 - 26. Direct carbon print. Metropolitan Museum of Art. The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars, Ford Motor Company Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art​. By Maria Morris Hambourg. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989.

Writing About Art