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Exhibiting Modern Inuit Sculpture

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

A caption is intended to inform your reader about the work of art you are illustrating, who created it, when and also lead viewers back to where you obtained the image. Many museums offer the necessary citation information - and also reproductions of the work - on their websites. You can view the collections page for this artwork on the Brooklyn Museum's website:

Captioning Indigenous work requires including community information and in some case location or treaty information as well. It is best practice to consult with Indigenous communities to cite Indigenous works.

 Inuit sculpture of bird and whale


Elements of a Caption (From Chicago Manual of Style)

Title: One Bird and One Seal on a Section of Ice

Culture: Inuit

Artist: S. Kbidlapik

Creation Date: c.1950 - 1980

Dimensions: 1 x 1 3/4 x 1 7/8 in. (2.5 x 4.4 x 4.8 cm)

Place Made: Nunavut, Canada

Medium: Ivory, bone

Location of work: Brooklyn Museum

Where image was accessed:

Captions in Chicago


Caption (image obtained in person):

S. Kbidlapik (Inuit), One Bird and One Seal on a Section of Ice, c. 1950 - 1980. Ivory, bone, 2.5 x 4.4 x 4.8 cm. Brooklyn Museum.

Caption (image obtained online): 

S. Kbidlapik (Inuit), One Bird and One Seal on a Section of Ice, c. 1950 - 1980. Ivory, bone, 2.5 x 4.4 x 4.8 cm. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn Museum. 

Caption (image obtained from a print publication):
S. Kbidlapik (Inuit), One Bird and One Seal on a Section of Ice, c. 1950 - 1980. Ivory, bone, 2.5 x 4.4 x 4.8 cm. Brooklyn Museum. Title of Book. By FirstName LastName (Culture). Publisher. Date: page number. 

Recommended Reading: Citation Justice & Indigenous Citation Practice

Introduction to Citation Justice and Indigenous Citation Practice

Much of what you will find here on indigenous citation practice comes from research guides created by the Xwi7xwa Library at the University of British Columbia. From their website: "Xwi7xwa Library is a centre for academic and community Indigenous scholarship. Its collections and services reflect Aboriginal approaches to teaching, learning, and research." Some useful guides in their collection:

Also created at the University of British Columbia, but not in the Xwi7xwa Library, is this guide to First Nations and Indigenous Art.

Writing About Art

Books about Writing in the Catalog

Online Resources for Writing About Art