Image Collections Online: Citing Images

Most Commonly Used Citation Styles

Chicago Manual of Style 16th ed. (2010) (
Captions should be numbered consecutively, with the following elements in this order:
Figure and number with period.
Title in italics,
By [Artist],


Figure 1. Migrant Mother, by Dorothea Lange, 1936.

College Art Association Submission & Style, Preparing an Accepted Manuscript for Publication (
The College Art Association's Art Bulletin style is a modification of the Chicago Manual of Style. It gives the most thorough information, and is widely seen as the preferred style to use.  Scroll down to their Captions sections:

Captions should be numbered consecutively. Figure numbers do not include a period. A full caption includes, whenever available and appropriate, information in the following order:
Figure number with no period
Artist (first name, last name)
Title (in italics)
Medium on support
Dimensions in inches (h. x w. x d.) followed by dimensions in centimeters (1 inch = 2.54 cm)
Name of collection
City of collection
Other collection information such as "gift of . . . ," accession number, etc.
Copyright or credit line information regarding both the photograph and the artwork (in parentheses)



1 Piet Mondrian, Dutch, 1872-1944, Apple Tree in Bloom, 1912, Oil on canvas, 78.1 x 107 cm. Gemeentemuseum, the Hague, Netherlands photo copyright: Lisa Van Duzer (gift)


2 Steichen, Edward. Enlisted Men of the USS Lexington.  1943.  Art, Architecture & Engineering Library Collection.  University of Michigan.  March 21, 2009.

Special Presentation:

3 William Kentridge.  Multimedia Interactive Feature.  San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2009.  Explore Modern Artn.  March 2009. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  March 21, 2009.


Art Work:

4 Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child, ca 1890, Oil on canvas, 35 ½ x 25 3/8” (90.1 x 64.5 cm). Wichita Art Museum, Whichita, Kansas, Roland P. Murdock Collection, M109.53 (© Wichita Art Museum 2002)

Modern Language Association Style
See: Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 3rd ed.
New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1998. (Avery Fine Arts N28 G35)

The caption should be labeled as Figure (usually abbreviated Fig.), assigned an Arabic numeral, and given a title or caption.   For photos of artwork, include the book's publication information of the text in which the image appears.  A label and title or caption ordinarily appear directly below the illustration and have the same one-inch margins as the text of the paper. Captions should be numbered consecutively.


Fig. 1. Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child, Wichita Art Museum. Illus. in Novelene Ross, Toward an American Identity: Selections from the Wichita Art Museum Collection of American Art (Wichita, Kansas: Wichita Art Museum, 1997) 107.

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