This page contains reference examples for artwork, including the following:

  1. Artwork in a museum or on a museum website
  2. Art exhibition
  3. Informational museum plaque

1. Artwork in a museum or on a museum website

van Gogh, V. (1889). The starry night [Painting]. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, United States. https://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/vincent-van-gogh-the-starry-night-1889/

 

  • Parenthetical citation: (van Gogh, 1889)
  • Narrative citation: van Gogh (1889)
  • Use this format to cite all types of museum artwork, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints, drawings, digital art, crafts, and installations.
  • List the artist as the author of the work.
  • Always include a description of the medium or format in square brackets after the title. The description is flexible (e.g., a general description such as “[Painting]” or a more specific description such as “[Oil painting]” or “[Oil on canvas]”).
  • For untitled artwork, include a description in square brackets in place of a title.
  • The name and location of the museum appear in the source element of the reference.
  • Provide a link to the artwork on the museum website if available.

2. Art exhibition

Design for eternity: Architectural models from the ancient Americas [Exhibition]. (2015–2016). The Met Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, United States. https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2015/design-for-eternity

Martinez, J.-L., & Douar, F. (2018–2019). Archaeology goes graphic [Exhibition]. The Louvre, Paris, France. https://www.louvre.fr/en/expositions/archaeology-goes-graphic

 

  • Parenthetical citations: (Design for Eternity, 2015–2016; Martinez & Douar, 2018–2019)
  • Narrative citations: Design for Eternity (2015–2016) and Martinez and Douar (2018–2019)
  • Provide the curator(s) of the exhibition in the author element of the reference.
  • When the curator is unknown, move the title of the exhibition to the author position of the reference.
  • The year or range of years of the exhibition appears in the date element of the reference.
  • The name and location of the museum appear in the source element of the reference.
  • Provide a link to the exhibition on the museum website if available.

3. Informational museum plaque

[Plaque with background information about American Gothic]. (n.d.). Art Institute Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States.

 

  • Parenthetical citation: ([Plaque with background information about American Gothic], n.d.)
  • Narrative citation: [Plaque with background information about American Gothic] (n.d.)
  • Provide a description of the plaque in square brackets rather than the name of the artwork or item so it is clear that you are citing the plaque itself.
  • If the plaque itself is dated, use that date. If the plaque is not dated, use “n.d.” Do not use the date of the artwork or item being described.
  • Information on a plaque is likely consolidated from other sources, making the plaque a secondary source. If possible, cite the same information from a primary source that your readers will be able to retrieve.

Artwork references are covered in Section 10.14 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition