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© 2001—2023 ASSOCIATION OF ART EDITORS
Copyright ©2017, Association of Art Editors, All Rights Reserved
First edition (2006) compiled by Lory Frankel and Virginia Wageman. Edited by Lory Frankel with the assistance of Phil Freshman, Chris Keledjian, and Fronia W. Simpson
Revised edition (2013) edited by Maureen Butler with the assistance of Phil Freshman
Art movements, periods, and styles
Catalogue entries and checklists
Collections and collectors/Credit lines
Exhibition labels, object labels, wall labels
Illustrations. See Photographs and artwork
Index (citing illustrations in)
Photograph and illustration credits
The first edition of the Association of Art Editors Style Guide was produced in 2006. The present revised edition was created in 2013 with a dual aim: to bring the Style Guide into alignment with The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition; and to make it reflect changes that occurred in manuscript preparation, editing, and publishing after 2006—largely due to evolving technologies.
The Style Guide is intended for authors of texts on art—any kind of text—and for editors of these texts and their publishers. Its purpose is to provide guidelines for authors and editors in the writing and redaction of manuscripts. Uniformity of usage is not the purpose of this guide. Rather, it aims to ensure uniformity of comprehension about the issues that authors and editors deal with.
Although it would have its practical purposes, a definitive, this-way-only manual would be inadequate to the profession, since art history is an aggregate of many different methodologies and fields of specialization. Nor is it likely, or expected, that all publishers (or editors) will abandon long-cherished systems, especially when those systems adequately serve their purposes. Rather, we offer a guide to several generally accepted styles. Authors should consult with their publisher/editor before making final stylistic decisions; if the publisher is unknown at the time of writing, the author very often will be responsible for revising the manuscript later to accord with house style.
Note: “See Chicago” (appearing throughout) refers to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.
The style manuals and publications of various institutions were also among the sources consulted for substance and examples. We gratefully acknowledge: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York; the College Art Association, New York; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
This revised edition of the Style Guide, like the original, is dedicated to Virginia Wageman (1941–2003). A co-founder and early president of the AAE, she was an untiring campaigner for high editorial standards. Virginia’s loving devotion to her craft, fund of common sense, and sunny disposition made working with her deeply rewarding.
In general, abbreviations are appropriate in notes and parenthetical or display material but should be avoided in straight (narrative) text. Some publishers prefer to keep abbreviations to a minimum in text, spelling out reigned, circa, born, and so on, even in parenthetical references. Consistency is of primary importance. If you use b. for born, for example, you must use d. for died. A list of common abbreviations appears below.
In running text, cite books of the Bible by short title, usually one word. See Chicago 10.46–50.
Do not abbreviate journal titles in running text. (Example: Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, not JWCI.) If such titles are to be abbreviated in notes, provide a key to their abbreviations.
Avoid the abbreviations etc., e.g., and i.e. in running text.
State names are spelled out in running text or when they stand alone. In references, captions, or checklists, standard state abbreviations—Mass. or Calif., for example—can be used. Avoid the two-letter postal-code form (see Chicago 10.28–30). Note, however, that some publishers prefer to spell out state names in all cases, an approach that makes the work more accessible to a global audience.
In running text, spell out: figure(s), note(s), number(s), page(s), plate(s), and catalogue number(s). These may be abbreviated in parenthetical references in text. See below for recommended abbreviations.
In running text, spell out: “about” (do not use “around,” “circa,” “c./ca.”), days of the week, months of the year, and dimensions such as “inches” and “feet.”
Centuries are usually spelled out (eighteenth century, twenty-first century), but it is also acceptable to use numerals (18th century, 21st century). Whichever approach is chosen should be used consistently.
Spell out the word Saint in names of saints, but abbreviate it in personal names where the abbreviation is preferred. (Example: Ruth St. Denis.) See below under Saint for rules on church names and other related details.
In place names, spell out: Fort, Mount, Mountain.
Active (often preferred spelled out)
(SMALL CAPS), precedes the date; A.D. 61. AD is also acceptable.
(SMALL CAPS), follows the date; 146 B.C. BC is also acceptable.
(SMALL CAPS), follows the date; 61 C.E. (or CE).
(SMALL CAPS), follows the date; 146 B.C.E. (or BCE).
approximately (in dimensions)
circa, about, approximately (in text use “about”); either c. or ca. is correct; be consistent
catalogue number (pl.: cat. nos.)
Compare (not “see”)
centimeter; centimeters (generally used without punctuation)
compiler (pl.: comps.); compiled by
colorplate (pl.: cpls., colorpls.), an awkward abbreviation, to be avoided
editor (pl.: eds.); edition; edited by
for example (avoid in text)
estimated (in dimensions)
et alia, and others (note: no period after et)
et cetera, and so forth (avoid in text)
ex collection (in provenance or credit)
figure (pl.: figs.)
folio (pl.: fols.). Sometimes f. and ff., but fol(s). is clearer
ibidem, in the same place (Note: this is not synonymous with “idem,” which means “the same person” and takes no period, as it is not an abbreviation.)
id est, that is (avoid in text)
illustration (spell out in text)
left, length, line (pl.: ll.); line(s) is often written out for clarity
Mlle (no period)
mm (no period)
Mme (no period)
manuscript (pl.: MSS)
note, footnote (pl.: nn.)
number (pl.: nos.)
no place; no publisher; no page
page (pl.: pp.)
plate (pl.: pls.)
recto (Note: these abbreviations are used mainly in notes and in works specializing in manuscripts; in other contexts, recto is spelled out.)
Saint (see Saint)
television (in many contexts, may be used in text)
Translated or translated by; translator
verso (Note: these abbreviations are used mainly in notes and in works specializing in manuscripts; in other contexts, verso is spelled out.)
See also Chicago 10.43 for a list of scholarly abbreviations.
Unusual diacritical marks should be marked on the manuscript by hand for the designer/typesetter/printer, either called out in the margin or marked with yellow or other highlighter.
The most common accents (acute é, grave è, umlaut ü, circumflex î, and cedilla ç) are supported by most fonts and need not be marked.
In a program or font that does not have the macron (long mark), the circumflex or tilde may be employed to indicate it if there are no words using the circumflex or tilde in the manuscript. If macrons are thus indicated by a different accent, a note to that effect should be given at the beginning of the manuscript so that the designer/typesetter and printer will know to change these to macrons.
Insert all accents given in the foreign language, including accents on capital letters. (Note that diacritical marks are not always used on the first letter of capitalized words in French: Etude, instead of Étude, or Edouard instead of Édouard.)
In general, do not use vowel ligatures (œ or œ).
The five most commonly occurring accents can be created on Macintosh computers by pressing the Option key along with the following keys (after pressing these two keys together, press the letter that takes the accent):
+ e = ´ (acute) é
+ ` = ` (grave) è
+ i = ˆ (circumflex) î
+ u = ¨ (umlaut) ü
+ n = ~ (tilde) ñ
+ c = ç (cedilla)
In running text, lowercase the preceding a museum name. This is to be done even for museums that have the article as part of the official name and capitalize The in their own documents and publications. Example:
A similar print is in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
In running text, also lowercase the preceding the name of a building, residence, business, and the like. Examples:
the Red Rooster restaurant
the Empire State Building
the University of Chicago
the College Art Association Conference
In illustration captions and exhibition checklists, initial articles that are part of the museum’s official name are often capitalized. (See The Official Museum Directory, or locate the given museum’s Website on the Internet.)
In titles of books, an initial The is always italic. Example:
The Chicago Manual of Style.
In titles of journals, newspapers, or magazines, the preceding the name is lowercase and roman, even if it appears in the masthead for the publication. Examples:
The article is in the Village Voice.
He reads the New York Times every day.
The Art Bulletin is published by the College Art Association.
However, the article is retained in foreign-language titles. Example:
She reads Le Monde every day.
In footnote and bibliographical references, an initial article The is omitted in titles of journals, newspapers, and magazines. Examples:
Art Bulletin 52, no. 3
New Yorker, Feb. 14, 1998.
The question of whether to capitalize or lowercase is one of the most common in the field of art history and one of the most difficult in which to attain any agreement. Chicago would lowercase all art movements, periods, and styles except those derived from proper nouns. However, many art historians and art institutions traditionally capitalize them. For this reason, we offer an alternative to the Chicago method.
The names of art movements or periods of art can be capitalized to distinguish them as references to a particular body of work whose visual and/or chronological definitions are generally accepted. The art so designated may be of relatively short duration (Post-Impressionism), or extend over a longer period characterized by a broader range of styles (Renaissance, Baroque), or stem from self-styled movements (Cubism, Futurism).
For names of art movements that have entered the English language as an autonomous word (for example, baroque, meaning “stylistically overwrought”), capitalization of the movement helps to keep the distinction between word and movement clear.
Some exceptions are made in the general system of capitalization. The word medieval is never capitalized in designating medieval art (though the period known as the Middle Ages is always capitalized).
Words such as modernism or postmodernism are often left uncapitalized by those who hold that the cap should be used only when the works designated fall into a coherent visual and/or chronological category. Since the question, “What does a modernist work look like?” cannot be answered clearly, modernism remains in lowercase.
For those who prefer to capitalize art movements, remember that it takes time for a body of works to achieve capital-letter status—to undergo the kind of critical ordering and analysis that ultimately yield a definition. What we now call Conceptual art, for example, generally remained lowercase until the concepts and the works that exemplified it had been articulated over time.
Adjectival forms: Impressionism/Impressionistic or impressionistic; Cubism/Cubist or cubist? Some prefer to lowercase adjectival forms since adjectival forms of proper nouns generally take the lowercase (Pope John Paul’s visit to New York; the papal visit). Others prefer to retain the initial cap to refer unambiguously to the movement, avoiding confusion with another meaning or referent of the word. We lean toward capitalizing any adjectival form that would be capitalized as a noun as the simpler method (thus avoiding such ambiguities as “German expressionist painter”: expressionist of German nationality or of the German Expressionist movement?).
Equally legitimate is the lowercasing of art movements. For some, it merely reflects a tendency to avoid capitalization whenever possible. For others, however, a lowercase baroque or cubism represents an ideological stance, in which the history of art is not a history of great “movements” progressing in linear fashion. But those who use a lowercase style should avoid ambiguities such as “German expressionist painter” (alternative: a painter of the German expressionist movement).
Names of artistic styles are capitalized unless they are used in a context that does not refer to their specific art-historical meaning (example: His dream was surreal). Some common names:
Conceptualism, Conceptual Art, Conceptual art
Minimalism, Minimalist, Minimal Art, Minimal art
Pop Art, Pop art
In general, sharply delimited period titles are capitalized, whereas broad periods and terms applicable to several periods are not:
Greek Classicism of the fifth century (otherwise, classicism)
Neoclassicism (for the late-18th-century movement; otherwise, neoclassicism)
classicism (see above)
neoclassicism (see above)
See also Words and terms.
Bias-free language does not discriminate on the basis of age, physical condition, economic status, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Where possible without sacrificing meaning or euphony, use language that is not gender specific.
Avoid words and turns of phrase that exclude or are insensitive to readers of a certain gender, race, or religion. Equally, avoid any extremes of political correctness, unless required by the text; for example, the neologism “s/he” is to be avoided.
When appropriate, gender-neutral language can be achieved by making the subject plural. Example: Students may register in advance if they . . .
When necessary, he or she may be used.
Commonly used words and phrases:
handmade (for man-made)
people with disabilities
humankind, humanity (for mankind)
individual (for man)
solo exhibition (for one-person show)
References to biblical passages (for example, Matt. 4:14) should be made in either the text or notes rather than in the bibliography. The first citation, however, should have an endnote or footnote that provides a full reference and the version of the Bible used (for example, 1 Kings 2:10–12 [New International Version]).
Books and sections of the Bible are usually capitalized (for example, Acts of the Apostles). For abbreviations of books of the Bible, see Chicago 10.45–50.
Two common styles for bibliographies are the “notes and bibliography” system and the “author-date” system. Both are described here, accompanied by sample bibliographies of likely entries for both systems.
In this context, references to “author” mean the name under which the work is alphabetized in the bibliography or list of references; it may be an organization or, as in some exhibition catalogues, the venue (such as New York for the Museum of Modern Art) or venues (New York and Philadelphia).
If the work is accessed online, include its DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or a URL. The latter is less reliable, as a Website may move or disappear. Printed-book publishers may require an electronic-resource identifier in citations for which a source is hard to find.
See chapters 14 and 15 of Chicago for a detailed examination of bibliographic styles.
There are numerous ways to organize a bibliography under the notes and bibliography system. It may be presented as a single list in alphabetical order, or it may be divided into categories, separating sources of a general and a specific nature; books, exhibition catalogues, and articles; in a monograph, works by the artist, works about the artist, and exhibition history. If there is a suggested-reading list, sources for further reading—some of which may have been cited in the text—are given. A bibliography may include all the works cited in the text, or it may be a selected bibliography, which will not necessarily include all the works cited.
Using a selected bibliography has the advantage of retaining the bibliography’s traditional aspect as a list of sources on the subject; tangential or unrelated citations would not need to appear in it. Any references not given in the selected bibliography would be cited in full (in the first instance) as a footnote or endnote in the book. Subsequent references to the work may be shortened to the last name of the author, a short title, and page number(s). Example, 2. Smith, Bronzino, 23.
When the source is given in full in the bibliography, shortened references in footnotes or endnotes may be used throughout the book; make sure they are given identically throughout. This system also requires the single alphabetical bibliographic list.
Every note needs to have a reference number linking it to the relevant text.
Archives, Abstract Art Controversy Correspondence, box H4, file 82. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Audsley, George Ashdown. The Art of Organ Building. 2 vols. 1905. Reprint, 2 vols. in 1, New York: Dover Publications, 1964.
Barron, Stephanie, et al. German Expressionist Sculpture. Exh. cat. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1983.
Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Hill and Wang, 1981.
Bibliothèque Municipale, Rouen. MS fr. 938.
Binney, Ed. “Later Mughal Painting.” In Aspects of Indian Art, ed. P. Pal. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972.
Blume, Dieter. Anthony Caro: Catalogue Raisonné. 13 vols. Cologne: Verlag Galerie Wentzel, 1981–2006.
Burke, Edmund. The Correspondence of Edmund Burke. Ed. Thomas W. Copeland. Vol. 3, July 1774–July 1778, edited by George H. Guttridge. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961.
Conze, Edward. Buddhist Thought in India. 1962. Reprint, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1967. [When an earlier edition is used.]
Dean, Bashford. Helmets and Body Armor in Modern Warfare. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1991, Microfiche.
Gairola, Krishna C. “Manifestations of Shiva.” Oriental Art, 27, no. 3 (Autumn 1981). [When page numbers cannot be specified.]
Genesis of a Novel. Tucson, Ariz.: Motivational Programming Corporation, 1969. Audiocassette.
Goldwater, Robert. Primitivism in Modern Art. 1938. Rev. ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1966.
Goodrich, Lloyd. “Essay on Abstraction.” 1930. Typescript. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Gruen, John. “Michael Heizer: ‘You Might Say I’m in the Construction Business.’” Art News 76, December 1977, 96–99.
Hockney, David. David Hockney: Photographs. Exh. cat. London and New York: Petersburg Press; Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, 1982.
Jerome. Commentaria in Esaiam. Ed. Marcus Adriaen. In Corpus Christianorum Series Latina, vol. 78. Turnhout: Brepols, 1958.
Larsen, Susan C. “Los Angeles Painting in the Sixties: A Tradition in Transition.” In Art in Los Angeles: Seventeen Artists in the Sixties. Exh. cat. Edited by Maurice Tuchman. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1981.
Locke, Nancy Elizabeth. “Manet and the Family Romance.” PhD diss., Harvard University, 1993.
Milder, Patricia. “Teaching as Art: The Contemporary Lecture-Performance.” A Journal of Performance and Art 33, PAJ 97, no. 1 (2010): 13–27. doi:10.1162/PAJJ_a_00019.
Mizuno, Kogen. The Beginnings of Buddhism. Translated by Richard L. Gage. Tokyo: Kosei Publishing Company, 1982.
Schubring, Walther. The Religion of the Jainas. Calcutta Sanskrit College Research Series, no. 52. Calcutta: Sanskrit College, 1966.
Shah, V. P. Jaina-Pupa-Mandana. Vol. 1. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications, 1987.
Smith, Vincent A. The Oxford History of India. 3rd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1958.
Solomon,Alan R. Jasper Johns. Exh. cat. New York: Jewish Museum, 1964.
Stella, Frank. “On Caravaggio.” New York Times Magazine, February 3, 1985, 39–60, 71.
Sun Shaoyuan. Shenghua ji (Record of paintings). Preface 1107; Shanghai: Yiwen, 1996.
Talwar, K, and Kalyan Krishna. Indian Pigment Paintings on Cloth. Vol. 3 of Historic Textiles of India at the Calico Museum. Ahmedabad: Calico Museum of Textiles, 1979.
In long books with many works cited, especially big exhibition catalogues that include references for the objects exhibited, shortened references (the author’s last name and the publication date) are often used in the text. When authors have the same last name, initials are generally added to distinguish them. When there is more than one identical short form (for example, two for Smith, 1957) letters are added after the dates (for example, 1957a and 1957b.)
The author-date system requires a reference list of every work cited in single, alphabetical-list form, giving the author’s full name and publication date as the first items. Footnotes or endnotes can be used to supplement the author-date system.
Alberti, Leon Battista. 2011. On Painting. Edited and translated by Rocco Sinisgalli. U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Arcangeli, F. 1956. “Sugli inizi dei Carracci.” Paragone 7 (79): 137–43.
Bohlin, Diane DeGrazia. 1979. Prints and Related Drawings by the Carracci Family. Exh. cat. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art.
Bonehill, John, and Stephen Daniels. 2012. “Projecting London: Turner and Greenwich.” Oxford Art Journal 35 (2): 171–94. doi:10.1093/oxartj/kcs021.
Germanisches Nationalmuseum. 1928. Albrecht Dürer Ausstellung Germanischen Museum. Exh. cat. Nuremberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum.
Ng, David. 2012. “Will Christo’s Oil-Barrel Pyramid ‘Mastaba’ Finally Rise?” Culture Monster, Los Angeles Times, November 26.
Petzet, Michael, ed. 1973. Bayern Kunst und Kultur. Exh. cat. Munich: Stadtmuseum.
Siple, Ella S. 1942. “Art in America.” Burlington Magazine 80: 74–81.
Sotheby Parke Bernet and Company. 1983. The Thomas F. Flannery, Jr., Collection: Medieval and Later Works of Art. Sale cat.
See also Exhibition history, Notes.
Capitalize the full name but not the generic term. Example:
Holy Roman Empire, the empire
Capitalize the full or shortened version of a proper name but not generic categories. Example:
Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Académie Royale, but not the Academy.
When particles are used with the full name, they are often left lowercased when only the last name is given. Example:
The late works of Vincent van Gogh
The late works of van Gogh
However, it is also accepted practice to capitalize the particle when the first name is dropped—Van Gogh—so long as this is done consistently. When particles are capitalized with the full name, they should always be capitalized when the first name is dropped. Example:
Anthony Van Dyck
For capitalization of particles, follow the usage of the named individual or tradition. (In general, lowercase the particle in European names.) Examples:
de La Tour
van der Weyden
Titles, whether of nobility, offices, or religious, are capitalized only when they directly precede the name: King Edward II, President Clinton, Pope John Paul II. Otherwise, lowercase them: the duchess of Kent, the senator from Ohio, the pope’s entourage.
Identify people mentioned with a brief phrase (the noted collector, the critic, etc.), using full name at first mention. Example:
The nineteenth-century writer and art critic Octave Mirbeau
Asian names: The traditional format for Chinese and Japanese names places the family name first, followed by the given name. Unless the name is Westernized, as it often is by authors writing in English, it should be kept in the traditional order.
Traditional order: Tsou Tang; Tajima Yumiko
Westernized: Tang Tsou; Yumiko Tajima
Capitalize place names with distinct and titled identities—the Middle East, the West (referring to the cultural-geopolitical entity), the Continent, the East Coast—otherwise, lowercase: northern Italy, southern France.
In general, capitalize a political entity when it follows the name and lowercase it when it precedes—New York State, the state of New York—unless the official name happens to take that form: the District of Columbia, the Dominion of Canada.
For place-name spellings, use the first choice given in Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary.
Caption style varies according to field, period, institution, and so on, and caption forms will of necessity vary from publication to publication, subject to subject. What follows is a sampling of formats; for specific instructions on individual elements of captions, see Collections and collectors/Credit lines, Dates, Dimensions, Inscriptions, Media of artworks, Titles of artworks.
The caption normally begins with information identifying and describing the work of art. It usually ends with collections data, often including fund or donor credit and, sometimes, accession number.
Line-for-line style places elements of the caption on separate lines with no punctuation at the end of each line; run-in style gives all the information sentence-style, separated by punctuation. Checklists and catalogue entries often employ the line-for-line style. This style is seldom used in most books that are not also exhibition catalogues and periodicals, where the elements are placed in sequential order separated by punctuation. (This style is often used in exhibition catalogues for captions to figure references.) The particular style that the publisher requires should be ascertained ahead of time by the author or editor if possible.
All or some of the following information may be included in an illustration caption, in the order given or in a slightly different order. (For more information about each of these categories, see under each item.)
For a work by a known artist:
figure or plate number
name of artist, artist’s nationality or country of origin (Germany, active United States), artist’s dates
title of work, subtitle(s) or alternative title(s), translation of title
date of execution
medium, including support
dimensions, usually in inches (height precedes width precedes depth), dimensions in centimeters (usually in parentheses following inch measurement)
signature/inscription information (rarely given in figure captions)
credit line/collection, followed by city of collection (includes, as applicable, collection to which work belongs, donor of the work, and a museum accession number or the year in which the work was acquired)
photograph credit, if not given in a separate section (see Photograph and illustration credits).
figure or plate number
description of the work
country and/or region, dates
An abbreviated caption may include:
figure or plate number
name of artist (including first name)
title of work
date of execution
In general, the artist’s name should be given in full even in multiple captions for the same artist’s work, unless the article or book is about a single artist, in which case the artist’s last name is sometimes used after the first mention or the artist’s name is omitted altogether.
For anonymous works, if the category is not omitted altogether, “artist unknown” is generally used.
Be sure that the titles of works as given in the text and captions match.
If the full image is not used, the caption must specify that it is a detail: Michelangelo, David, detail; Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel, Rome, Vatican, detail of ceiling: ignudo;Detail of Fig. 3: Left wing; Detail of Fig. 8 with the Flight into Egypt.
Include verified credit lines and, where appropriate, photograph credits (see Collections and collectors/Credit lines, Permissions, Photograph and illustration credits). If the location of the work is not known, use “location unknown” or “whereabouts unknown.” If the owner wishes to remain anonymous, use “private collection,” or “private collection, name of city.” If the artist owns the work, use “collection of the artist” or “collection the artist.”
The following examples, from a variety of sources (some noted), offer a range of punctuation and ordering of the elements:
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1509). Mona Lisa, ca. 1503–5. Oil on panel, 30 1/4 x 21 in. (76.8 x 53.3 cm). Paris, Musée du Louvre [source: Metropolitan Museum of Art]
Clay figurine. Japanese, latest Jomon period (ca. 1000–250 b.c.). H. 2 1/4 in. (6.4 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Koizim, 1978 (1978.346) [source: Metropolitan Museum of Art]
Louis Lozowick (1892–1973), Allen Street (Under the El), 1929. Lithograph: sheet, 11 5/16 x 15 13/16 (28.7 x 40.2); image, 7 9/16 x 11 3/16 (19.2 x 28.4). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Print Committee 86.28 [source: Whitney Museum]
William Wegman (b. 1943), Ray and Mrs. Lubner in Bed Watching T.V., 1981. Polacolor ER, 24 x 20 (61 x 50.8). University of Arizona Center for Creative Photography, Tucson [source: Whitney Museum of American Art]
Peggy Ahwesh, The Scary Movie, 1993. Super-8 film, black-and-white, sound; 9 minutes. Distributed by Drift Distribution, New York [source: Whitney Museum of American Art]
Cheryl Donegan, Craft, 1994. Videotape, color, sound; 12 minutes. Distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix, New York [source: Whitney Museum of American Art]
Susan Rothenberg (American, b. 1945), Blue Head, 1980–81, acrylic and Flashe on canvas, H. 114 in. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Gift of The Sydney and Frances Lewis Foundation.
Plate 1. Egyptian, Vessel in the Form of the God Bes, Late Period, ca. 600 B.C., faience. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Purchase in memory of Bernard V. Bothmer, The Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund, 94.110.
Colorplate 22. Henri Matisse. Le Luxe, 1907–8. Casein on canvas, 6’ 10 1/8” x 4’ 6 3/4” (205.3 x 139 cm). Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen; Rump Collection.
Figure 1. Nancy Graves, Dingbat, 1988. Cast, patinated bronze with painted elements, 8’ 5” x 34” x 6’ 2” (243.8 x 86.3 x 188 cm). Private collection.
Fig. 2. Commode, c. 1755–60, attributed to Thomas Chippendale (English, 1718–1779). Mahogany, oak, pine, and ormolu, 33 x 55 x 25 1/2 in. (83.8 x 139.7 x 64.8 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art. Purchased with the John D. McIlhenny Fund (photo: courtesy of the museum) [source: Princeton University Press]
Fig. 3. Seated Bodhisattva, early 8th century. Made in China (T’ang dynasty, 618–907). Gilded bronze with traces of color, H. 9 in. (22.9 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art. Purchased with Museum and subscription funds (photo: courtesy of the museum) [source: Princeton University Press]
7 Little Canterbury Psalter, Nativity. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale ms lat. 770, fol. 20r [source: Art Bulletin]
6 Rogier van der Weyden, Nativity, center panel of the Bladelin Altarpiece. Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin–Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Gemäldegalerie (photo: Jörg Anders) [source: Art Bulletin]
Catalogue entries and checklists include caption information, as above, usually on separate lines, often followed by provenance, exhibition history, and publication history. The format, like that for captions, will of necessity vary, and there is no one set way for all publications. Here, as in Captions, a sampling of formats is offered; for specific instructions on individual elements, see Collections and collectors/Credit lines, Dates, Dimensions, Exhibition history, Inscriptions, Media of artworks, Titles of artworks.
137. The Painter’s Family
La famille du peintre [Portrait defamille]
Issy-les-Moulineaux, spring 1911
Oil on canvas, 56 1/4 x 6’ 4 3/8” (143 x 194 cm)
Signed and dated on back of subframe: “Henri Matisse 1911”
The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Formerly collection Sergei Shchukin
[source: Museum of Modern Art]
14. Blindekuh (Blind Man’s Buff), 1944–45. Oil on canvas; triptych, left and right panels: 191 x 110 cm (75 3/16 x 43 5/16 inches), central panel: 205 x 230 cm (80 11/16 x 90 9/16 inches). The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
[source: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum exhibition catalogue Max Beckmann in Exile]
Isabel Bishop (1902–1988)
Subway Scene, 1957–58
Egg tempera and oil on composition board, 40 x 28 (101.6 x 71.1)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase 58.55
[source: Whitney Museum]
Wood and bronze
Bridge, 3 x 20 1/4 x 3 inches
Boat, 1 5/8 x 11 5/8 x 2 5/8 inches
Coffin, 1 3/4 x 7 1/16 x 2 3/4 inches
Bird, 1 3/4 x 3 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches
[source: Whitney Museum of American Art]
10. Pair of Short Boots
Outer fabric: Weft-faced compound twill; silk tapestry (kesi)
1992.350: Top of boot to bottom of heel 32.8 cm (12 7/8 in.); toe to heel, ca. 25 cm (9 3/4 in.)
1992.349: Top of boot to bottom of heel 34.9 cm (13 3/4 in.); toe to heel, ca. 25 cm (9 3/4 in.)
Liao dynasty (907–1125)
The Cleveland Museum of Art. John L. Severance Fund (1992.349; 1992. 350)
[source: Metropolitan Museum of Art]
234. Medallions from an Icon Frame
Byzantine (Constantinople?), late 11th–early 12th century
Gold, silver, and cloisonné enamel
Diam. 8.3 cm (3 1/4 in.)
Inscribed: In Greek, on each medallion, an identification of the figure represented: Jesus Christ, Mother of God, John the Precursor, Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint Matthew, Saint Luke, Saint John the Theologian, and Saint George.
Provenance: [omitted here]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, N.Y. Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan (17.190.670–78)
Literature: [omitted here]
Exhibitions: [omitted here]
[source: Metropolitan Museum of Art]
Head of a Jina
Uttar Pradesh, late 2nd–early 3rd century
10 x 6 1/2 x 6 3/4 in. (25.4 x 16.5 x 17.2 cm)
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon, 68.8.3
[source: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts]
Alexander Kelety, Hungarian, dates unknown
Affection, ca. 1925–30
Silvered and cold-painted bronze, ivory, marble
13 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 5 in. (34.9 x 18.4 x 12.7 cm)
Signed on top of base: Kelety
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Sydney and Frances Lewis, 85.328
[source: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts]
7. Bronco Buster
1895, this version cast July 30, 1906
Bronze, green over brown patina, lost-wax cast
22 5/8 x 22 3/4 x 15 1/4 in. (57.5 x 57.8 x 38.7 cm)
Signed at front, top of base at right: Copyright by / Frederic Remington
Inscribed at rear, top of base along right curve: roman bronze works n.y.
Inscribed on underside of base: 49
The Hogg Brothers Collection, gift of Miss Ima Hogg
Acc. no. 43.73
[source: Princeton University Press/Museum of Fine Arts, Houston exhibition catalogue Frederic Remington]
The format of entries for catalogues raisonnés closely follows that of the exhibition entry or checklist, with a number assigned to the work; title and variations of the title; date; medium (usually omitted if works of a single category are listed, such as all paintings, in which, for example, all works are oil on canvas unless noted otherwise); dimensions; inscriptions; collection; provenance; exhibition history; publication history; and a category, usually called “Remarks,” for other pertinent information. In a book with hundreds of such entries, it is important to verify consistency among entries. To this end, it is helpful to check each of the elements noted above one at a time from beginning to end. For specific instructions on individual elements, see Collections and collectors/Credit lines, Dates, Dimensions, Exhibition history, Inscriptions, Media of artworks, Titles of artworks.
Also called a biographical outline, a chronology is often included in artist monographs, solo exhibition catalogues, and catalogues raisonnés. Many formats are possible. In writing a chronology, it is important to decide on a particular approach and then use it consistently. It is also helpful to decide what kinds of information to include and exclude. If there is limited space, information readily at hand elsewhere in the volume (for example, in an exhibition history) as well as material of secondary importance may easily be omitted. The intention of a chronology is primarily to trace the artist’s development, not necessarily to list all of the artist’s accomplishments and activities.
Most chronologies are written in either narrative style, with full sentences (usually using the artist’s last name), or in telegraphic style, omitting the subject, understood to be the artist. As in any text, where individuals are introduced, their full names should be given and a brief identification added.
It is important to verify that information in the chronology agrees with that given elsewhere in the publication.
Example from Diane Upright, Morris Louis: The Complete Paintings (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1985):
Louis and his wife moved into Washington, where they purchased a house at 3833 Legation Street, N.W. Louis converted the 12-by-14-foot dining room into the studio he was to use for the rest of his life.
Jacob Kainen, a Washington artist, helped Louis to obtain a teaching position at the Washington Workshop Center of the Arts, which was founded in 1945 by Leon and Ida Berkowitz. Louis taught two adult painting classes each week. He became friendly with Kenneth Noland, also an instructor at the workshop.
Example from John Elderfield, Henri Matisse: A Retrospective (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1992):
JANUARY 27: With Mme Matisse, departs for the first of two trips to Morocco. Mme Matisse will stay in Tangier until the end of March, Matisse until mid-April. Paints landscapes, including Periwinkles (pl. 147), having received a landscape commission from Ivan Morosov; still lifes, including Basket of Oranges (pl. 148); and figure paintings.
MARCH 14–APRIL 6: First exhibition of his sculptures in America is held at the “291” gallery in New York, organized by Steichen and selected by the artist with Steichen. Includes six bronzes, five plasters (probably including those of the first four Jeannette sculptures; pls. 127, 128, 138, 139), one terra-cotta, and twelve drawings. The show is attacked by the critics; none of the works is sold.
APRIL 14: Leaves Tangier for Marseille, en route to Paris.
References to classical works should be cited within parentheses in the text. Examples: (Odyssey 9.266), (Timaeus 484b). The use of Arabic rather than Roman numerals is preferred. But as with biblical references, a footnote or endnote should be given at the first reference, citing which translation or critical edition was used.
For classical works that exist in numerous editions, write out the names of the sections of the work in the note, as readers might use an edition different from yours. Example: (bk. 1, sec. 3). The elements in the text can subsequently be given in Arabic numerals separated by periods without writing out the names of the sections. Example: (1.5).
See also Chicago 14.256–65. Note, however, that the rules Chicago gives apply primarily to specialized writings; a nonspecialist audience would not know what to make of IG2.3274 or POxy. 1485, which are better written out: Inscriptiones Graecae, vol. 2, 2nd ed., inscription no. 3274, and Oxyrhynchus Papyri, document no. 1485.
For museums, all information required by the institution should be cited. This may include accession number and date and such information as “the Jones fund,” “Gift of,” and “purchased with funds from.” Credit-line information, not to be confused with copyright information, identifies the donor or fund(s) through which the object was acquired. Some publishers change punctuation and capitalization for consistency in style, while others (especially museums) insist on using the form given by the museum, including punctuation and capitalization. Examples:
The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Lillie P. Bliss Bequest
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Gift of Mrs. J. H. Jones, 1929
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Frick Collection, New York
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
Although it is important that the wording given by museums and institutions be carefully followed in the credit line, some standardization can be obtained by using the same order of elements and the same punctuation throughout. Examples:
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase 58.55
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Fletcher Fund, 1987 (1987.275)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Gift of the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1966.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon, 68.8.3
British Museum, London [E 289]
To help achieve consistency, it is permissible to omit the wording “courtesy” or “courtesy of” in the collection line. For example, if Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts specifies its credit line as “Courtesy, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,” it could be given as simply “Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.” The use of “courtesy” should be reserved for signaling the role of an intermediary in obtaining a photograph or permission, as in “Collection of the artist; courtesy Mary Boone Gallery, New York.”
Some museums require a copyright credit for having given permission to reproduce a photograph. This should appear in the photograph credit, not the credit line. Example:
Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet (photo: J. Lathion, ©Nasjonalgalleriet)
Give the full name and location of museums, unless the location is part of the name. Example: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (not National Gallery). If an institution’s title includes the name of the city, do not repeat the city, although the state or country may have to be included. Examples:
The Springfield Museum of Art, Illinois
Dallas Museum of Fine Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond
States and countries should be given only for cities judged to be obscure or where there are two cities with the same name, for example, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Cambridge, England. By tradition, “Cambridge” is given for the city in England, whereas the state name is added for the city in Massachusetts. Names of states may be spelled out. If they are abbreviated, the standard Webster’s abbreviations should be used rather than postal abbreviations. Chicago 10.28 also lists the older abbreviations.
For private collections, only the information the collector provides should be given. Do not add a city to private collection unless the owner approves. Examples:
Private collection, Boston
Collection John Jones, New York
Collection of Mary Black, Somerville, New Jersey
Collection of Mary Black and John Jones, Ventura, California
Collection of the artist
Collection the author (or, perhaps better, private collection)
Some collections are treated as entities. Examples:
Joseph H. Hirshhorn Collection
The Abrams Family Collection
Note that in the text, while formal collections should be capitalized (Lehman Collection), generic terms associated with collections should be lowercased (the collection of Robert Lehman).
The words and abbreviations “Inc.,” “Company,” “Co.,” “Ltd.,” and the like are usually omitted when giving names of commercial galleries. Such elements should be retained, however, when the collection refers to a business or corporation. Example:
The IBM Corporation, Armonk, New York
In general, names of foreign museums are given in the original language for scholarly publications. However, for books with a wide general audience, names of foreign museums may be anglicized. Examples:
Palazzo Pitti, Florence = Pitti Palace
Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome = National Gallery of Modern Art
Kokuritsu Kindai Bijutsukan, Tokyo = National Museum of Modern Art
In cases where the owner cannot be ascertained, use “Location unknown” or “Whereabouts unknown.” If it is known that a work has been destroyed or lost, that information should be provided. Examples:
Formerly Berlin, Gemäldegalerie; destroyed in World War II
Destroyed by the artist, 1954
Destroyed in a fire, 1963
In most books, photographers’ and photo agencies’ credits are removed from captions and placed in a section, called “Photo credits” or “Photograph Credits,” at the back of the book. See Photograph and illustration credits.
Credits usually appear at the end of a book, after the index, if there is one, though if they are short they may be on the copyright page. Pictures, extensively quoted passages of text (short quoted passages—properly attributed in the text or endnotes—and extensive quotations in scholarly publications are still covered by fair use), photographers, and owners of rights (organizations such as SPADEM that own rights to an artist’s work but do not own the actual work of art) must all be credited scrupulously. Many owners of artworks now request that a credit line appear in the caption to an image. However, wherever permitted, information beyond the location and owner of an artwork should be removed from the caption and inserted into the credits page. Picture agencies and photographers often request that a credit line appear with a photograph. Many publishers do not generally consent to that style and instead place all such credits at the end of the book. Note that the credits typically are not listed in the table of contents. For specific instructions, see Photograph and illustration credits.
There should be no extra space on either side of dashes. Em (long) dashes may be typed as two hyphens--or as an em dash—.
En dashes are used between inclusive numbers and between compound adjectives. These should be either marked by the editor or inserted by the editor. Examples:
New York–London flight
post–Civil War period
Month-day-year or day-month-year: June 6, 1988, or 6 June 1988; either is acceptable so long as one style is consistently used in both text and notes, including in references to journals. Note that a comma follows the year in the month-day-year style.
Month-day: January 30 (not 30th)
Month-year: January 1992 (no comma)
The name of the month should be spelled out in text; it may be abbreviated in notes, especially for bibliographic uses.
Seasons: The fall 1992 season (lowercase, no comma)
Decades: 1950s; 1840s and 1850s (in full, no punctuation); or, when the century referred to is unambiguous, “the thirties.” Do not vary formats within one sentence or paragraph. Use “in the 1950s and 1960s” or “in the fifties and sixties,” not “in the 1950s and sixties,” “in the 1950s and 60s,” or “in the 1950s and ’60s.”
Mid: mid-1990; mid-nineteenth century; mid-nineteenth-century (adj. form)
Centuries: Spell out and lowercase in text. Examples:
a phenomenon of the nineteenth century
He is a scholar of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century art.
art of the late eighteenth century (noun form: no hyphen)
late-eighteenth-century art (adj. form: many style guides and institutions hyphenate early- and late- in the adjective form, but several do not)
In notes and captions, figures are often used. Example:
late 2nd–early 3rd century
Century or centuries? Some institutions offer the following guide:
The style was revived during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The movement lasted from the fifth through the eleventh century.
The movement lasted from the fifth to the tenth century.
Eras or systems of chronology: These abbreviations are conventionally set in small capitals, separated by periods but no space. (Some publishers omit the periods.) The most commonly used system remains B.C./A.D. The latter always precedes the year. Examples: 55 B.C., A.D. 110.
Alternative systems that use the same time frame:
B.C.E./C.E. (before the common era and the common era)
B.P. (before the present)
A.H. (in the year of the Hegira, beginning A.D. 622)
A.M. (in the year of the world), precedes the year
A.S. (in the year of salvation), precedes the year
A.U.C. (from the founding of [Rome, 753 B.C.]), follows year
Use of the solidus (slash /) in dates: In birth or death date, 1878/81 means born or died in either 1878 or 1881. In the date of a work of art or event, it also indicates either/or.
Life dates: Give in full. Examples:
Arminius (c. 17 B.C.–A.D. 21)
385–331 B.C. (All digits are given for all B.C. dates.)
Abbreviations may be used in text for life dates given in parentheses. Examples:
born = b. (b. 1930) Note: this is preferable to the form (1930–)
died = d. (d. 1538)
about = c. or ca. (ca. 1489–d. 1538)
flourished = fl. (fl. 1503–30) (fl. 1530s) (fl. 16th century)
date known but unverified = ? (1489?–d. 1538)
active = act. (or spell out) (act. 16th century or active 1711–16)
Other dates: 385–331 B.C. (all digits are given for all-B.C. dates), 1864–1916, 1900–1902 (all digits are given with dates ending in 00), 1962–65.
Reign dates: 1902–39; the abbreviation r. may be used for dates given in parentheses (r. 1902–39).
Dates of artworks: Do not use circa, c., or ca. in text, except when the date is given in parentheses; “about” should be used instead. Dates separated by a solidus (1878/81) indicate either/or (either 1878 or 1881). An en dash, not a solidus, should be used to indicate a range of time: 1878–81 means the work was begun in 1878 and completed in 1881; ca. 1878–81 means the work was executed sometime between 1878 and 1881. An undated work may be designated n.d. (no date) if the intention is not to give an approximate date. A work in progress may be designated by the date begun followed by an en dash and a space (1994– ). These and other possibilities are offered here:
1878/81 = work executed either in 1878 or in 1881
1878–81 = work begun in 1878 and completed in 1881. If it is known that no work was done in 1879 and 1880, it could be given as “1878 and 1881” or as “begun 1878 and completed 1881”
ca. 1878–81 = work executed sometime between 1878 and 1881
exh. or exhib. or exhibited 1881 = earliest record of the work is date of exhibition, 1881
n.d. = undated
1994– = work in progress, begun 1994
1924, reconstructed 1989 = originally executed in 1924 and remade, refabricated, or reconstructed in 1989. Alternative: 1924 (1989 reconstruction)
1932, exhibition print 1995 = photograph originally printed in 1932, exhibition print (or any later print) made in 1995. Alternative: 1932 (1995 exhibition print)
For a work in a series, the date of the series alone suffices if it includes the date of the print; if not, both dates must be given. Examples:
Manhattan View, from the portfolio New York Skyline, 1932
Manhattan View, 1931, from the portfolio New York Skyline, 1932
See also Chicago 9.30–37.
For two-dimensional works of art, height precedes width; depth follows for three-dimensional works. Always compare the measurements against the photograph of the artwork to make sure that dimensions are given in the correct order. For example, if a picture is of an obviously horizontal artwork and this does not correspond to the order of the dimensions, check with the owner of the artwork; the measurements may be transposed, or there may be a typo in the numbers.
The following abbreviations may be used where necessary in captions (not in running text):
D/D./ d/d.: depth
Diam/Diam., diam, diam.: diameter
Est. diam.: estimated diameter
Max. diam.: maximum diameter
H/H./ h/h.: height
L/L./ l/l.: length
T/T./ t/t.: thickness
W/W./ w/w.: width
in./ft.: inches, feet
mm/cm/m: millimeters, centimeters, meters
sq. in./ft.: square inches, feet
A lowercase x may be used for by, or a multiplication sign, but use only one or the other. Always use a word space on either side of the x. Editors should mark a lowercase x to be set as a multiplication sign (*).
Use the inch as the basic unit of measurement in captions and catalogue entries. Inches may be signified with the abbreviation in., used just once per set of dimensions: 17 x 19 in.; 106 x 27 x 8 in. It may also be indicated by inch marks. When foot and inch marks are used, repeat the mark in a set of dimensions: 6’ 2” x 12’ 10”. Editors should indicate the use of foot and inch marks for the designer/typesetter/printer, especially if quotation marks were used in the manuscript.
Most publishers and institutions use inches up to 99 and feet and inches thereafter.
However, if there are only a few dimensions over 99”, it is best to use inches throughout.
If centimeters are given, that measurement should follow in parentheses: 96 x 96 x 24 in. (243.8 x 243.8 x 61 cm).
In most cases, convert millimeters to centimeters: 3.5 cm, not 35 mm. Use 5 cm, not 5.0 cm, and .5 cm, not 0.5 or 0.50 cm. (Works on paper, however, are often given in millimeters.)
1 inch = 2.54 centimeters.
To convert inches to centimeters, multiply the inch figure by 2.54.
To convert centimeters to inches, divide the centimeter figure by 2.54. If you use a conversion table, check its accuracy by making a few conversions with a calculator.
Standard decimal-to-fraction conversions:
.125 = 1/8”
.375 = 3/8”
.625 = 5/8”
.875 = 7/8”
The following range of figures may be used in converting decimals to fractions:
.063 – .125 – .187 = 1/8”
.188 – .250 – .312 = 1/4”
.313 – .375 – .437 = 3/8”
.438 – .500 – .562 = 1/2”
.563 – .625 – .687 = 5/8”
.688 – .750 – .812 = 3/4”
.813 – .875 – .937 = 7/8”
.938 – .999 = 1” (round off to the next highest whole number)
2/5 rounds off to 3/8
3/5 rounds off to 5/8
1/3 rounds off to 3/8
2/3 rounds off to 5/8
4/5 rounds off to 7/8
1/5 rounds off to 1/4
As a general rule, use only the half, quarter, and eighth fractions. Change all sixteenths and thirty-seconds to the nearest rounded fractions. (Some institutions, however, go down to sixteenths, especially for works on paper.) It is unacceptable to leave dimensions of a third inch, a fifth inch, or a tenth inch.
It is strongly recommended to put a note on the copyright page of a book or preceding a checklist. Example:
Dimensions are in inches (and centimeters); height precedes width precedes depth.
If the dimensions are unfixed, use “dimensions variable.”
If the dimensions are given as “life-size,” no further dimensions are needed.
If the words “sight,” “overall,” or “each” are used to qualify dimensions, these may go at the end of the line, in parentheses if only inch dimensions are used and without parentheses if centimeters are used as well. Examples:
30 x 40 in. (sight)
30 x 40 in. (76.2 x 101.6 cm), sight
30 x 40 in. (76.2 x 101.6 cm), sight
If a work has more than one part, this information precedes the dimensions. Examples:
eight parts, 115 7/8 x 83 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (294.3 x 212.1 x 26.7 cm) overall
three panels, each 50 x 30 inches
“Approximately” or “approx.” usually precedes the dimensions. Example:
approximately (or: approx.) 30 x 40”
Examples of dimensions for prints:
image: 7 7/8 x 12 3/8” (20 x 31.4 cm); sheet: 10 x 14 1/8” (25.4 x 35.9 cm)
sheet, 11 5/16 x 15 13/16 inches; image, 7 9/16 x 11 3/16 inches
sheet, 12 7/8 x 9 7/8 inches; plate, 6 7/8 x 4 inches
Examples of dimensions for sculpture:
Dimensions with base, 12 x 13 x 14 in.
12 x 13 x 14 in., with base
12 x 13 x 14 in., without base
12 x 13 x 14 in. overall
Examples of dimensions for three-dimensional decorative objects:
[Bowl] h. 10.3 cm (4 in.), max. diam. 28 cm (11 in.)
[Tumbler] 3 7/8 x 3 1/16” (diam.)
In text, use numerals for dimensions, use by instead of x, and spell out the word inch and any other dimension. Examples:
The painting is 9 by 12 inches.
She used an 8-by-10-inch canvas.
The Great Pyramid of Cheops is 482 feet high.
See also Captions, Catalogue entries and checklists, and Measurements Conversion Chart (at Helpful Links).
Website titles are given in roman without quotation marks and are capitalized headline style. Be sure that when referring to a Website, it is differentiated from print materials either by the title, name of sponsor, author, or by a short description. Use quotation marks for titled sections or “pages” within a Website. Website titles that correspond to books or articles can be styled accordingly. Give revision dates for pages that are continuously updated.
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
the Website of the Chicago Tribune; the Chicago Tribune online; chicagotribune.com
Google; Google Art Project; “Google Art Project Collections”
Christie’s Art Auctions; “Fine Art Storage Services”
A sample bibliographic Website citation:
Smithsonian Institution. “Exhibitions at the Smithsonian.” Last modified January 11, 2013.
Cite blogs, named podcasts, and video blogs in a style similar to that used for periodical articles. Include the author of the post; the name of the post; the blog title or description; the name of the parent publication (if there is one); the date of posting; and the URL.
A note example:
Michael Kurcfeld, “An Artist’s Game of Chance on the High Seas,” Arts Beat (blog), New York Times, January 8, 2013.
Blogs that are frequently cited can be included in a bibliography. Note that a date is not included. Example:
Rushmore, R. J. “Rae’s Latest Street Sculpture.” Vandalog [blog].
A podcast note example:
Allan McCollum, “Collection of Forty Plaster Surrogates, 1982,” Museum of Modern Art, New York. May 18, 2012. Podcast.
Various formats and devices can be used to download electronic books from a bookstore or library, including PDF e-book, Amazon Kindle, Kobo eReader, Microsoft Reader, and EPUB. They are identified at the end of a full citation. Example:
Souter, Gerry. Frida Kahlo. New York: Parkstone International, 2011. PDF e-book.
Books that have entered the public domain are often available online at no cost. The electronic format should always be given for the source of the text. A full bibliographic example:
Speed, Harold. The Practice and Science of Drawing. Reprint of 1913 London edition, Project Gutenberg, 2004.
To the extent possible, provide full publication details. Include medium information, such as the type of source (examples: podcast, video, DVD), length, and other relevant facts about the original source or performance. The electronic file name, or URL, should be included. Give the date last accessed if the source has no date. Note that electronic content with no formal publisher or sponsoring body has the status of unpublished work, but the copyright restrictions are the same as for any published material.
A note example:
“Mona Lisa’s ‘Twin Sister’ Discovered in Spain’s Prado Art Museum,” YouTube video, 0:53, Asianet News, February 21, 2012.
A bibliographic example:
Luhrmann, Baz. “Commentary.” William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” music ed. DVD. Directed by Baz Luhrmann. Los Angeles: Twentieth Century Fox, 1996.
Brand names for electronic devices (examples: iPod, iPhone) do not need capitalization, even at the beginning of a sentence or a heading.
Three ellipsis points indicate an omission within a sentence.
Four ellipsis points indicate an omission of the last part of a sentence, the first part of a sentence, a whole sentence or more, or a whole paragraph or more.
If three ellipsis points are used, spaces should separate the points from each other and from the words preceding and following. The points should be typed individually; do not use Microsoft Word’s unit ellipsis unless so instructed by the publisher. If four points are used, the first point serves as a period and should not be separated from the preceding word. Example:
“A strong rhythm dominates José Clemente Orozco’s Zapatistas. . . . Diagonal lines . . . dominate the entire composition.”
If a sentence preceding four ellipsis points ends in a question mark or exclamation point, that punctuation replaces the period, to be followed by three ellipsis points. Example:
“What’s Hecuba to him?. . .”
Ellipses are not used to indicate missing or illegible words or parts of words. See Inscriptions.
See also Quotations.
Most exhibition catalogues share a number of components particular to them. These may include, in order (more or less) from front to back: a list of the exhibition schedule—including the travel itinerary and the exhibition’s funders and sponsors—which often appears on the copyright page; the Contents page (in cases of multiple contributors to the catalogue entries, this may be the only place where the full names of authors who wrote catalogue entries are given); the sponsor’s statement; lenders to the exhibition (may also appear with the back matter); list of trustees; funders (often given on the copyright page); the director’s foreword; acknowledgments, usually listing all the people who contributed money, expertise, writing, or artwork; essay or essays; catalogue entries; chronology; bibliography (possibly including an exhibition history); and index.
The catalogue entries themselves have several components: catalogue number; artist, nationality, dates; title of work; where created, date; material/medium; dimensions; signature/inscription information; credit line; accession number; text; provenance, or ex coll.; bibliography, or references; exhibitions, or exhibited; condition; related works; remarks. If short forms are used for the elements of bibliography and exhibitions, then the full information will be found in the overall bibliography at the end of the catalogue. For specific instructions, see Catalogue entries and checklists, Chronology, Collections and collectors/Credit lines, Exhibition history, Inscriptions, Notes.
Titles of exhibition catalogues are italicized. See Chicago 8.195.
There are many ways to style an exhibition catalogue in notes, bibliography, and exhibition history. For purposes of notes and bibliography, the most important information is the publisher, which may be different from the venue. For exhibition histories, the venue is the essential information. It is possible, of course, to offer all of this information, but many formats are tailored to the purpose. Examples:
Rosenberg, Pierre. France in the Golden Age. Exh. cat., Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1982. [If the publisher is not the museum, the place of publication should be the publisher’s location.]
Metropolitan Museum of Art. François Boucher. Exh. cat., New York, 1986.
Alain Beausire, “Le Marcottage,” in La Sculpture française au XIXe siècle, exh. cat. (Paris: Editions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1986), 95. [This gives the publisher rather than the venue.]
Brooks, Rosetta. “Spiritual American.” In Lisa Phillips, Richard Prince (exhibition catalogue). New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1991, 85–108. [This gives the venue as publisher, without copublisher or distributor.]
Ruth Butler, “Rodin and the Paris Salon,” in Rodin Rediscovered, ed. Albert E. Elsen [exh. cat., National Gallery of Art] (Washington, D.C., 1981), 21. [This separates the venue and publishing information.]
Dayton Art Institute, Ohio, American Expatriate Painters of the Late Nineteenth Century (1976), exh. cat. by Michael Quick, pp. 100–101.
Elizabeth Cropper, Pietro Testa, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass., 1988. [If publishing information is different, it may be added in parentheses.]
Miller, Lillian B., ed. The Peale Family. Exh. cat. New York: Abbeville Press in association with the Trust for Museum Exhibitions and the National Portrait Gallery, 1996.
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris. Max Beckmann. Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1968. [In bibliography, under the heading “Exhibition Catalogues.”]
Paris, Grand Palais; New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1974–75. Centenaire de l’impressionnisme. English edition, Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition. [In bibliography, under the shortened reference Paris, New York 1974–75.]
Paris, Musée de l’Orangerie, 1933. Renoir. Catalogue preface by Paul Jamot. [In bibliography, under the shortened reference Paris 1933.]
John Plummer, ed. The Glazier Collection of Illuminated Manuscripts. Exh. cat., Pierpont Morgan Library. New York, 1968. [In bibliography, under the shortened reference New York, Glazier Collection, 1968 (to distinguish it from another entry of New York 1968; in such cases, short titles are preferable to letters).]
This refers to two different elements: a listing of an artist’s exhibitions in an artist monograph or exhibition catalogue, usually preceding the bibliography; and an item in an exhibition catalogue entry listing all the venues where the object was displayed. The latter is also called “Exhibitions” or “Exhibited.”
The first type may take many forms. Most are divided into solo exhibitions (or one-artist shows) and group exhibitions, both arranged chronologically, from earliest to most recent. If opening and closing dates are used, exhibitions should be arranged chronologically by opening date. If only the year or years are used, then the exhibitions within each year may be arranged alphabetically by venue or by location. (The latter may be more sensible than trying to decide if Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum should be under S or G, and whether Mary Boone Gallery is under M or B. There is no set rule. However, it may not be helpful if many exhibitions took place in the same city.)
The listing of one-artist exhibitions may omit the titles of the exhibition, which usually consist only of the artist’s name; if the title is different, it may be included. Example:
1982 Associated American Artists Gallery, Philadelphia and New York, Sittings: Portraits by Will Barnet, Terry Dintenfass Gallery, New York.
The listing of group exhibitions should include the full title of the show. Example:
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation, 1989 [or: September 4–November 17, 1989]
For traveling exhibitions, the information may be indicated by the simple addition (traveled) at the end of the entry. Otherwise, all travel stops may be listed, usually after the opening venue, with just the year or the entire range of dates, so long as the same information is given for each item throughout. Some sample forms:
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation, September 4–November 17, 1989 (traveled to: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, December 15, 1989–January 12, 1990).
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation, September 4–November 17, 1989. Traveled to: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, December 15, 1989–January 12, 1990.
1979 Will Barnet: Twenty Years of Painting and Drawing, Neuberger Museum, State University of New York, College at Purchase, and John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida.
1977 Perceptions of the Spirit in Twentieth-Century American Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art and subsequent tour.
If the organizing institution is not the first venue, that may be indicated as follows:
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (organizer), A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation (traveled to: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, September 4–November 17, 1989; Whitney Museum of American Art, December 15, 1989–January 12, 1990).
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation, September 4–November 17, 1989. Traveled to: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, December 15, 1989–January 12, 1990 (organizer).
A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, September 4–November 17, 1989; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (organizer), December 15, 1989–January 12, 1990.
If both venues are co-organizers, that term may simply be added after each venue. Example:
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (co-organizer), A Forest of Signs, September 4–November 17, 1989; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (co-organizer), December 15, 1989–January 12, 1990.
Exhibition services, such as American Federation of Arts, Independent Curators, and SITES, that organize but do not exhibit may be listed as follows:
1967 American Masters—Art Students League, American Federation of Arts, New York, and subsequent tour.
American Federation of Arts, New York (organizer), American Masters—Art Students League. Traveled to [give venues chronologically by opening date].
The element “Exhibitions” or “Exhibited” in an exhibition catalogue entry may also take many forms. It may give full exhibition information (venue, location, year, title, number, plate, or page numbers in the catalogue), or it may give shortened names, with full information found in the bibliography. A shortened name may give the location and year only. Examples:
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 1910, no. 114 or no. 117; Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, 1924, Retrospective Exhibition of Important Works of John Singer Sargent, no. 2, as The Lady with the Rose—My Sister;Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, 1950, The Adelaide Hilton de Groot Loan Collection, no cat.; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, 1983, Painting in the South (trav. exh.), exh. cat. by D. R. Smith, pp. 48–50; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1987, American Paradise, exh. cat. by J. Howat et al., pp. 48–50, no. 120.
Detroit Institute of Arts, 1940, The Age of Impressionism, no. 27 (Vase of Flowers, lent by the Bignou Gallery, New York); New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1960, Paintings from Private Collections, no. 64; Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, 1987, Franse meesters uit hand Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 13.
Peale’s portrait gallery (?), Independence Hall, Philadelphia, ca. 1782, then the Peale Museum, Philadelphia, from ca. 1786–1854; The Fabulous Peale Family, Kennedy Galleries, New York, June 13–July 8, 1960; The Voyage of Life, Bayou Bend Museum of Americana at Tenneco, Houston, September 22, 1991–February 26, 1993.
Paris 1931, no. 114; Antwerp 1948, no. 227; Amsterdam 1949, no. 123a; Antwerp 1954, no. 267; Essen 1956, no. 409; Edinburgh 1958, no. 102; Athens 1964, no. 63; Brussels 1982, no. Iv. 10; Cologne 1985, no. G 11.
Every exhibiting institution has its own style for the identifying labels that appear with the objects displayed in its galleries. Essentially, they repeat the information given in the checklist or catalogue entry, often following the same or a similar format. Labels with text, sometimes called chats or didactics, usually follow the same rules as any other kind of text.
Some exhibition labels are so extensive they have been cited in notes. The following format may be used:
See Michael Kauffmann, “Typology—the Old Testament,” wall label for Rubens and the Bible, curated by Helen Braham, Courtauld Institute Galleries (Somerset House), London, 1990–93.
Titles of exhibitions are italicized in upper- and lowercase. Examples:
The Glory of Byzantium
Primitivism in Twentieth-Century Art
Some types of exhibitions, however—such as expositions, world’s fairs, or recurrent shows—are usually cited in roman type, upper- and lowercase, as for a title. Examples:
Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia
Exposition Universelle, Paris
International Exposition of Fine Arts, Barcelona
Salon of 1864
Salon des Refusés
Be sure to cite as titles only the official names of exhibitions. For example, the first Impressionist exhibition is a description, not a title.
Titles of exhibition catalogues are italicized.
Extended quotations—the length varies, from more than fifty words to more than one hundred words to more than ten typed lines—are set off from the text with a line space above and below the quotation, indented one-half inch from the left margin, and double-spaced. Extracts should not be enclosed in quotation marks, and any quotations within them should be enclosed with double, not single, quotation marks. An extract placed before the text begins is known as an epigraph.
See Chicago 13.21–22.
See also Quotations.
Most texts use the words figure and plate spelled out in text and the abbreviations fig. and pl. in parenthetical references and captions. Examples:
For a painting by Matisse, see figure 2.
Matisse’s Harmony in Red (fig. 2) shows the influence of the rich fabric designs of North Africa.
Fig. 2. Henri Matisse, Harmony in Red, . . .
Some museums and publishers prefer capitalizing figure and plate. Example:
In Kienholz’s Ozymandias Parade (Fig. 72), unlike State Hospital and John Doe (Figs. 43, 65), we find . . .
For cross-references to illustrations within the book, use a blind reference (see plate 00) and indicate in pencil, circled in the margin, the tentative illustration number or title referred to.
Foreign-language quotations are set out and punctuated in the same way as English-language quotations. If an English translation would be useful to readers, place it either before or after the original quotation. If avoiding clutter is desirable, place the original-language text in an endnote or footnote rather than in the text. If the author of the text has not provided the translation, the translator/source must be given. Foreign-language quotations should not be put in italics or underlined.
Capitalization of publication titles, in notes and bibliographies as well as in text: For the most part, adhere to the rules of sentence-style capitalization for the language in question—that is, capitalize the initial word of the title and subtitle and any words that would normally be capitalized in prose. An English translation can follow in parentheses. Example:
Gustave Flaubert’s L’Éducation sentimentale (A Sentimental Education) was published in 1869.
Some publishers follow an alternative rule of capitalizing all words up to and including the first substantive. Example:
La Jeune Femme
Whichever rule is adopted, follow it consistently. It should be noted that title pages in the original language are not reliable guides in this respect.
Foreign titles of artworks are capitalized in the same way as literary titles. In a title, any periods, guillemets (« »), or extra spaces can be changed to reflect standard use. When an artwork is best known by its foreign title, that title should appear first, with the English translation following in parentheses. Example:
Le déjeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass)or (Luncheon on the grass)
However, titles of well-known foreign works should be given in English, with the original title (following in parentheses) when the writer thinks it worth including. Example:
A Modern Olympia (Une moderne Olympia)
Use the original language for building names unless they are commonly anglicized. Examples:
Arc de Triomphe, Paris
Most institutions and publishers follow English-style capitalization for the names of foreign journals, buildings, institutions, and similar categories. Examples:
Beihefte der Historischen Zeitschrift
le Palais du Louvre
The use of foreign-language words in text should be minimized. Where it is essential, the English translation should be added within parentheses or quotation marks.
Foreign words and phrases that are likely to be unfamiliar should be in italics; translations following the foreign language are in parentheses, or quoted, but not both.
Many foreign words and phrases have entered the English language and are no longer italicized. Examples:
fin de siècle
A good guide to their status is whether they appear in the latest version of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Also, most proper nouns that are not titles are not italicized. Examples:
the Stanza d’Eliodoro
the Piazza del Fonte Moroso.
Traditional English names for foreign places should be used: Florence (not Firenze); Munich (not München). In general, publishers and institutions rely on the first-choice spelling given by Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary. Foreign publishers’ names are not translated. Example:
Munich: Carl Hanser Verlag, 2012
For a detailed examination of foreign-language style matters, see Chicago, chapter 11.
Omit honorifics except when thanking a person for help. In general, omit honorifics when citing debts of published or older sources; give honorifics when citing current unpublished ones, such as letters or oral communications. Examples:
M., Mme, Mlle
Sig., Sig.ra, Signorina
To determine current usage for compound words and words with prefixes and suffixes, consult Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary or Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. Also, see the guidelines in Chicago 7.77–85. If a compound is not hyphenated in any of these sources, it probably should not be hyphenated. Use a hyphen only if the sentence might be ambiguous or confusing without it.
Hyphens are not used with most prefixes, such as non-, post-, or semi-. Exceptions are before capitalized words, as in post-Kantian; to separate repeated vowels, as in semi-industrial; or to distinguish homonyms, as in re-creation/recreation. For a list of examples, see Chicago 7.85.
Most compounds with like are closed (that is, do not need a hyphen) unless confusion or misreading would result, for example, when the first element ends in the letter l, consists of three or more syllables, or is a compound word or a proper noun. Examples:
Note: A -like compound formed with a proper name (Matisse-like) is incorrect when the comparison is to the artist’s work or style, not the artist personally. In these instances, use Matissian, Disneyesque, Rousseauvian (or Rousseauesque)—or better yet, recast the sentence.
Use hyphens before the noun in color terms. Examples:
black-and-white print (but: the print is black and white)
Use hyphens with compound adjectives when they precede the noun but not when they follow it. Examples:
the event was well planned
Do not use hyphens with adverbs ending in –ly. Examples:
dimly lit painting
poorly described text
highly regarded scholar
Century designations used as adjectives should be hyphenated. Examples:
fourteenth-century Japanese art
The designations early and late, however, do not require hyphens. Examples:
early twentieth-century art
late nineteenth-century art
Use a hyphen (not a solidus) to link descriptive nouns preceding a name or the title of a work. Examples:
artist-monk Mokuan Reien
artist-poet Marcel Broodthaers
French given names are usually hyphenated (example: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres), a practice begun in the nineteenth century. It is probably safe to hyphenate all French given names from the late eighteenth century on.
Hyphenate the terms e-mail, e-book, and e-pages.
It is useful to employ italics in citing pages on which illustrations appear. For a large index, it might be helpful to use small capital letters for the names of artists or places. (Note that when using small caps for this purpose, full caps should be used for those letters that would normally be capitalized. Example: DE KOONING, WILLEM.)
At the beginning of the index, the following key should appear:
Pages on which illustrations appear are in italics.
Names of artists and places are in SMALL CAPITAL LETTERS.
For indexes limited in space, note that the use of passing references of proper names is less helpful than using themes that run through a text.
See Chicago, chapter 16.
Inscriptions of any type—signatures, labels, stamps, marks—are usually specified for artworks in the catalogue entry or checklist, transcribed word-for-word, line-for-line, along with their location. Letters or words lost through damage are usually indicated by empty brackets (one em space in length) or sometimes simply by a (one em) space. Parentheses indicate letters omitted as the result of abbreviation in the inscription. Words in capital letters are usually set in small capitals. Line divisions are indicated by a solidus/ (with a space—ideally, a hair space—on either side of the solidus). Note that full capital letters are used in the examples below. However, small capital letters may be advisable in some cases.
Examples for paintings:
Signed lower left: C. H. Davis
Signed and dated upper right: W. M. Harnett [in monogram] 1885
Signed and dated lower right: Anna E Klumpke / 1898. Canvas stamp on reverse: 54 Rue N. D. DES CHAMPS PARIS / PAUL FOINET / TOILES COULEURS FINES.
Inscribed (on verso): AEt. 50 / 1749; Mrs. Margt. Nicholls of New York, N. America / Grandmother to Mrs. Frances Montresor (below in another hand).
Inscribed lower right: “les bêtes de la mer . . . / H. Matisse 50”
Signed and inscribed lower left: G. Courbet / Bruxelles / 1851
Some institutions distinguish between printed and cursive signatures by underlining the cursive signature.
For sculpture, the following terms may be used to indicate locations: base or base top, base front, base rear, base side, rim of base, base edge, under base, side, corner, back, above base. Examples:
Markings: ROMAN BRONZE WORKS NY (base, proper left rear); Paul Manship / © 1916 (proper right base top)
Inscribed (on back): E.D. PALMER SC. 1861.
The following example uses three separate lines to convey all the marks:
Signed at front, top of base at right: Copyright by / Frederic Remington
Inscribed at rear, top of base along right curve: ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N.Y.
Inscribed on underside of base: 49
Examples for prints:
Inscribed (below image): VICTORIOUS BOMBARDMENT OF VERA CRUZ. / by the united forces of the Army and Navy of the U. S. March 24th. and 25th. 1847.
Examples for decorative art objects:
[silver cup] Marked: BELL & BRO’S / SAN ANTONIO / TEXAS (incuse, base).
Engraved: Florence [Florence Eager Roberts] (side).
[ceramic coffee urn] Marks: FENN’S PATENT NO. 2 / NEW YORK NO. 2 (stamped on spigot)
Use roman type for scholarly Latin words and abbreviations. Examples:
a priori, ca., cf., e.g., etc.
However, italics should be retained for sic, which is always placed in roman brackets: [sic].
Italicize words used as words. Example:
The term artist here refers to the designer of the object rather than to the manufacturer.
Italicize words and phrases in a foreign language that are likely to be unfamiliar to readers. Examples:
cire perdue, modello (pl. modelli), ricordo
A full sentence or more in a foreign language should be set in roman type. Familiar words and phrases should be in roman type; such words are likely to be found in the latest edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Common examples:
a priori, cause célèbre, élan, facade, in situ, mea culpa, oeuvre, papier-mâché, pentimento (pl. pentimenti), plein air, repertoire, trompe l’oeil.
See also Foreign languages, Titles, Titles of artworks, Words and terms.
In notes, an abbreviation may be given with the first citation of a manuscript location and used thereafter. Some common examples:
Archives Nationales, Paris (hereafter Arch. Nat. or AN)
Archivio di Stato, Rome (ASR)
Archivio di Stato, Venice (ASV)
Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan (Bibl. Ambr. or BA)
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Bibl. Vat. or BAV) Barb. lat.
Biblioteca Nazionale, Florence (Bibl. Naz.)
Biblioteca Riccardiana (Bibl. Ricc.)
Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) ms gr., ms lat.
Bodleian Library (Bodl. Lib.) Laud ms Misc.
British Library (Brit. Lib.) ms Royal, ms Add., ms Cotton
British Museum (Brit. Mus.)
Vat. Lib. (Vatican Library) ms Reg. lat. [Reg. probably means “registro.”]
Publishers have precise guidelines about the submission of book or journal manuscripts, and it is important to be familiar with their instructions regarding use of software and fonts.
Manuscript files may be submitted to publishers as e-mail attachments, or a large number of files may be best submitted on a USB or into a cloud-based application site used by the publisher (example: Dropbox). A PDF version may be required, and a hard copy will usually be required as well. Each file should include the author’s name, the title of the article/book, the software used, and the file name (example: J. Jones, Art of the 1950s, Microsoft Word 2010, manuscript.docx). All files and printouts should be dated, so as to avoid confusion between different versions of the same material.
The following recommendations satisfy the requirements of most institutions:
Each chapter should be a separate file.The front matter (table of contents, preface, acknowledgments, and foreword) takes up a single file, as does the back matter (appendix, glossary, bibliography, and image-reproduction credits). Complex and lengthy back-matter elements are better treated as separate files. Captions, too, should be in a separate file.
Footnotes and endnotes are placed in the same file as the relevant chapter.Notes in electronic manuscripts can be hyperlinked to the text by the publisher. When a publisher requests that footnotes or endnotes not be embedded in the text, it is sometimes helpful to create a separate file for them. One university press uses embedded notes in endnote function in both a text and a separate notes file, so that notes can be added or deleted as necessary. Note numbers in text should be superscript. In the notes themselves, note numbers should be on the line, not superscript.
All text elements must be fully double-spaced (not 1.5), including quotations, notes, bibliography, and captions, even if the computer program defaults to single spacing for notes and extracts.Such defaults can be overridden.
All copy should be flush left, ragged right.Do not justify the right-hand margin; do not center heads. Do not break words (hyphenate) at the ends of lines. Turn off any automatic-hyphenating program.
Allow 1-inch margins at left, right, top, and bottom. (Sometimes a 1 1/2-inch margin at right or at left is helpful.)
Indent prose extracts (block quotations) by changing the margins rather than by using tabs or spaces. Add an extra line space above and below extracts.
Tabs—never spaces—should be used for paragraph indents.Do not leave an extra line space between paragraphs unless instructed by the publisher to do so.
Use italic type or roman type underscored for words to be set in italics. Punctuation following italic words is set roman, including parentheses enclosing a word or words completely in italics.
Type em (long) dashes, or use two hyphens. Close up space on either side of the dash.
There should be one space after punctuation—including periods and colons—not two.
Do not place endings of ordinal numbers in superscript (17th); leave them on the line (17th). Override the feature in your computer program that automatically changes ordinals to superscript.
Do not use the lowercase “ell” for the numeral 1.
If a manuscript is submitted in separate files, each chapter can begin its page numbering at 1, provided it is clear which chapter each page belongs to (examples: “chapter 5:1,” “chapter 5:2”). A manuscript comprising just one file may have consecutive numbering.
Publishers’ instructions will vary on header and footer information in a manuscript. The author’s name, chapter number, and page number should appear in either the header or footer, unless the author has been instructed to keep the author’s name off the manuscript (for example, if it will be sent out for peer review).
Give headings in upper/lowercase headline style (never in all caps) and in roman type (never boldface or italics). Fancy or unusual typefaces are to be avoided. Use an easily readable font in 11- or 12-point type. Some institutions request 12-point Courier. Avoid the use of centering and all-capital letters. Text may be in bold if it is to be so in the final version.
Include on the first page (cover sheet) of the manuscript:
your name and address (office and home), telephone/fax numbers (office and home), and e-mail address;
name of the article/book; number of words for each element (text, footnotes, captions, etc.); total number of words, including notes, captions, and all other elements;
computer system used (PC, Macintosh), software and version (example: Microsoft Word 2010) or cloud-based application site (example: Google Docs), and the file names for all documents.
If images are submitted as scans, submit printouts at full size, fully labeled with illustration number and a brief description of the work. Give the file name of each image on the printout or on an accompanying illustration list, along with instructions regarding preferred illustration locations in the manuscript (see Photographs and artwork).
The hard copy should contain the complete manuscript exactly as it appears in the files, with no handwritten additions and nothing missing. If last-minute changes are made to the files, there must be a new printout of the relevant pages. If handwritten corrections cannot be avoided, they should be brought to the attention of the designer/typesetter/printer with a flag and an arrow in the margin (or other such signal).
The author and editor should keep backups of the electronic files. The author also needs to keep a record of relevant copyright and intellectual-property materials.
The medium of most artworks takes the form of “medium on support”: oil on canvas; pencil on wove paper (some institutions prefer “graphite” to “pencil”); pen and brown ink with brown wash on paper, and so on.
The materials used to create an object should be listed in a consistent fashion; both “tempera on wood” or “tempera on panel” are acceptable, but only one form should be used within a single publication. Similarly, if there are two different ways to cite the same medium (gelatin silver [or gelatin-silver] print and black-and-white photograph), just one should be used throughout.
For decorative arts and textiles, it is preferable to list the principal material(s) first, then the decorative elements. Examples:
porcelain with enamel and gilt decoration
silk with metallic thread embroidery
Trademarked names must be capitalized (example: Masonite); it may be preferable to substitute generic terms where possible (example: fiberboard).
Here are some examples of media and supports. Trademarked names are noted with TM, followed by a generic version of the given term.
beech (not beechwood)
bister (preferred to bistre)
Cor-Ten steel (TM)
Dacron (TM; polyester)
Fiberglas (TM; fiberglass)
Formica (TM; laminated plastic)
gilt bronze (noun), gilt-bronze (adjective)
Lucite (TM; acrylic resin or plastic)
Masonite (TM; fiberboard)
Mylar (TM; polyester film)
ocher (preferred to ochre)
Plexiglas (TM; acrylic plastic or acrylic sheet)
silver gilt (n.), silver-gilt (a.)
soft paste (n.), soft-paste (a.)
terra-cotta (n. and a.)/terra cotta (n.), terra-cotta (a.)/terracotta (n. and a.)
Xerox (TM; photocopy)
Two terms are used for notes: footnotes, which are notes placed at the bottom of a page, and endnotes, which appear at the end of an article, chapter, or book. The terms footnotes and endnotes are essentially interchangeable.
Note-reference numbers in the text should be clearly designated by means of superior figures placed at the end of a clause or after punctuation. Note-reference numbers in the notes themselves should be on the same line as the text, followed by a period and one space. Example: 1. John Shearman, . . .
Journal article titles and subheadings in a book chapter may have note-reference numbers. Chapter titles, however, should not have note numbers.
The author’s name should be given exactly as it appears on the title page of the book or article cited. Chicago 14.72, however, allows replacing initials with the full first name to help identify the author correctly (example: John R. Martin rather than J. R. Martin). If the name appears in different versions, use the fullest version. Be sure to specify “ed.” where applicable. When no author or editor is specified, the institution sponsoring the publication is cited as the author.
With four or more authors, list the first author followed by “et al.” (example: Chappell et al., “Humanizing Creativity,”. . . )
A colon—not a period, comma, or semicolon—is used to separate the main title and the subtitle, no matter how it appears on the title page. If there is a second subtitle, it is separated by a semicolon and starts with a capital letter (example: Rothko: Intimacy and Humanity; Painting on the Large Scale). A dash in the title, however, should be retained (example: “Self-Portrait—an Account of the Artist as Educator”). All titles should be given either headline-style or sentence-style capitalization. It is also permissible to spell out abbreviated words and numerals. Some editors find it useful to impose standard punctuation as well, such as serial commas and hyphens. See Titles.
Exhibition catalogues are indicated by the abbreviation “exh. cat.” Only the year the catalogue is published need be cited, not the exhibition’s range of dates. If the exhibition opened in one year and closed in the next, the opening date is used for the year of publication. Only the sponsoring institution need be given, not the entire list of venues. When the publisher is different from the sponsoring institution, that information may be (but need not be) included. Example: Lise Duclaux et al., Ingres, exh. cat., Petit Palais, Paris, 1967 (Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1967). Note that some institutions substitute the publisher for the venue. Example: Lise Duclaux et al., Ingres, exh. cat. (Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1967). If the catalogue is cited as a book, that is, omitting the mention “exh. cat.,” then only the publisher’s name is needed. If the catalogue is a copublication between sponsoring institution and publisher, that information, as specified on the title page, should be given. Example: David B. Warren et al., American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection (Houston: Museum of Fine Arts in association with Princeton University Press, 1998).
Include the city of publication as cited on the title page or copyright page. If more than one city is given, only the first need be cited. Include the state or country if the city of publication is not well known; use your judgment. Chicago prefers the two-letter postal code, but the standard state abbreviations are acceptable. See Chicago 10.28.
In publishers’ names, ampersands may be retained or may be changed to “and” so long as consistency is maintained. Examples: New York: Harper and Row. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Publishers’ names may be shortened to exclude “and Co.,” “Inc.,” “Ltd.,” “Publishers,” and the like, so long as they are treated consistently. Avoid truncating a publisher’s name: Alfred A. Knopf, not Knopf. For journals, if the month is included in the date of publication, spell it out or abbreviate it consistently. If seasons are used, uppercase them (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter).
For journals, distinguish between vol. and no. If the issue number is given, it is not necessary to give the month of publication (although it is not incorrect to include it). Example: Art Bulletin 81, no. 3 (1999). Unless the publication’s pages run consecutively throughout the volume, an issue number or month must be given.
Chicago recommends using figures only for volumes and page numbers. Example: (3: 466). Many institutions, however, prefer to identify one or each element. Example: vol. 3, 466, or vol. 3, p. 466.
Lowercase all references to parts of a book, in text as well as in notes. Examples:
See chapter 6.
The bibliography appears at the end of the article.
16. Hannah Arendt, introduction to Illuminations, by Walter Benjamin . . .
Page numbers should precede references to illustrations. Example: [page] 412, fig. 57.
A shortened form for references may be used to reduce the size of documentation. If there is a complete bibliography, the short form may be used even at the first mention. Example of a full citation in a note:
Jean-Michel Rabaté, “A Constellation of Modernist Historiography: Woolf with Benjamin,” Journal of Modern Literature 36, no. 1 (Fall 2012): 163–65.
Example of the short form, which contains the author’s last name, key words from the main title, and the page or page numbers:
Rabaté, “Constellation of Modernist Historiography,” 163–65.
For notes that supplement the author-date system, source citations appear as they do in the text. Example: (2012, 24).
Do not use op. cit. or loc. cit.
Use ibid. (not italicized) only in consecutive references (without intervening citations) to the same work. If note 3 contains two references and note 4 refers to the second reference cited in note 3, use a short form of the reference rather than ibid. in order to avoid ambiguity. Abbreviations for frequently cited journals, archives, series, and the like may be used in the notes if the key to the abbreviations is given at the head of the notes section or bibliography.
Notes and note numbers can be hyperlinked in electronic works.
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981), 4.
Alan R. Solomon, Jasper Johns, exh. cat. (New York: Jewish Museum, 1964), 6, pl. 3.
Walker Art Center, Tyler Graphics: The Extended Image (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1987), 16, fig. 2.
Robert Skelton, The Indian Heritage (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982), 123–24.
Edward Conze, Buddhist Thought in India (1962; repr., Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1967), 21–45.
George Ashdown Audsley, The Art of Organ Building, 2 vols. (1905; repr., 2 vols. in 1, New York: Dover, 1964), 14.
Robert Goldwater, Primitivism in Modern Art (1938; rev. ed., New York: Vintage Books, 1966), 28.
Bashford Dean, Helmets and Body Armor in Modern Warfare (1920; microfiche ed., Boston: G. K. Hall, 1991), p. 23.
William Alexander Lambeth and Warren H. Manning, Thomas Jefferson as an Architect and a Designer of Landscapes (Boston: Houghton, 1913), 45–60.
Kogen Mizuno, The Beginnings of Buddhism, trans. Richard L. Gage (Tokyo: Kosei, 1982), 67–89.
Vincent A. Smith, The Oxford History of India, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1958). V. P. Shah, Jaina-Pupa-Mandana, vol. 1 (New Delhi: Abhinav, 1987), 90–105. [Note that for multivolume works, only the year of the volume cited need be given. If inclusive years are given, the year of the volume cited should be given as well.]
K. Talwar and Kalyan Krishna, Indian Pigment Paintings on Cloth, vol. 3 of Historic Textiles of India at the Calico Museum (Ahmedabad: Calico Museum of Textiles, 1979).
Edmund Burke, The Correspondence of Edmund Burke, ed. Thomas W. Copeland, vol. 3, July 1774–July 1778, ed. George H. Guttridge (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1961), 75–78.
Robert Willis and John Willis Clark, The Architectural History of the University of Cambridge, 3 vols. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 2: 268.
Walther Schubring, The Religion of the Jainas, Calcutta Sanskrit College Research Series, no. 52 (Calcutta: Sanskrit College, 1966).
Jerome, Commentaria in Esaiam X.xix.1, XI.xix.2–4, ed. Marcus Adriaen, Corpus Christianorum Series Latina [often abbreviated as CCSL], vol. 78 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1958), 72.
Catalogue of the Library, sale cat., Christie’s, New York, July 29, 1925.
Susan C. Larsen, “Los Angeles Painting in the Sixties: A Tradition in Transition,” in Art in Los Angeles: Seventeen Artists in the Sixties, ed. Maurice Tuchman, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1981), 21–23.
E. Binney, “Later Mughal Painting,” in Aspects of Indian Art, ed. P. Pal (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972), 92–95.
Bruce Glaser, “Questions to Stella and Judd,” in Minimalist Art: A Critical Anthology, ed. Gregory Battcock (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1968), 101–24. [Give inclusive pages for essays or chapters in a book.]
“Sasanians,” in The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 7 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1934), 178.
D. J. [Louis de Jaucourt]. “Musée,” in Encyclopédie. . . .; Dictionnaire. Paris, 1802. s.v. “muséum,” 247.
Isidore, Etymologiae, ed. Wallace M. Lindsay (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1911), 13.10.3.
Lawrence Alloway, “Michelle Stuart: A Fabric of Significations,” Artforum 12 (January 1974): 64–65.
Catherine Glynn, “Early Painting in Mandi,” Artibus Asiae 44, no. 1 (1983): 45–48.
Krishna C. Gairola, “Manifestations of Shiva,” Oriental Art, n.s., 27, no. 3 (Autumn 1981): 5–9.
William Robbins, “Big Wheels: The Rotary Club at 75,” New York Times, Sunday, February 17, 1980, sec. 3. [”Sunday” may be omitted.]
Pierre Marcel, “Une oeuvre de Watteau au musée de Dijon,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 94 (May 1904): 372–78. [For capitalization of foreign titles and periodicals, see Foreign languages.]
Nancy Elizabeth Locke, “Manet and the Family Romance” (PhD diss., Harvard University, 1993), 41. [or, (master’s thesis, New York University, Institute of Fine Arts, 1961), 41.]
Georgia O’Keeffe Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Lloyd Goodrich, “Essay on Abstraction,” 1930, typescript, 5, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Abstract Art Controversy Correspondence, archives, box H4, file 82, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
MS fr. 938, fols. 13r–14v., Rouen, Bibliothèque Municipale.
Camerale 111, Anagni, busta 80, Computa Depositaria Munimimis Ananiae, 3, Archivio de Stato, Rome.
Jim Sharman on Andy Warhol, interview by Phillip Adams, Late Night Live, Podcast audio, ABC, March 5, 2012.
Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood, performed by Dylan Thomas and others, Caedmon Dkls, 2005, compact disc.
See also Abbreviations, Bibliography, Exhibition catalogues, Exhibition history.
Numbers from one through one hundred and round numbers (six hundred, two thousand) are spelled out in text. Use numerals for numbers 101 and above, except for round numbers. Use numerals when numbers in the same paragraph range both below and above one hundred. Use numerals when odd numbers over one hundred are mixed with round numbers. Examples:
At the age of seventy-eight
Some fifteen hundred spectators
Among the 1,561 guests there were 200 boys.
The same rules apply to ordinal numbers. Examples:
In his seventy-eighth year
The fifteen hundredth anniversary
Haydn wrote his 103rd symphony thirty-six years after his first.
Approximate numbers are spelled out. Example: The collection contained approximately five thousand works on paper. However, approximate numbers in the millions or more use figures and words. Example: He made a profit of $4 million on the painting.
Spell out any number that begins a sentence.
Use numerals with a.m. and p.m. (traditionally, a.m. and p.m. have been set in small caps, but increasingly they are set in full caps, without periods); spell out with “o’clock.”
Use numerals for percentages, decimals, ratios, dates, most units of measure and distance, and parts of a book. Examples:
12 percent (not %)
Centuries are spelled out in running text and often are abbreviated in captions and notes. Adjectival forms are hyphenated. Examples:
The fifteenth-century Bible
A late-twentieth-century structure (or: a late twentieth-century structure)
In four-digit numbers, except in dates and page numbers, use a comma. Example: 1,786.
In all other instances, follow Chicago. Examples:
1915–1989 (birth–death dates)
1900–1906 (any instance beginning with a number ending in zero)
1904–5 (any instance of a number with 0 plus a single digit)
Inclusive numbers: Use all digits for numbers below 100 (that is, all two-digit numbers). Use all digits when the first number ends with 00. Use the changed part only, omitting unneeded zeroes from 101 through 109, 201 through 209, etc. For B.C. dates, repeat all digits. All digits are usually given for birth and death dates as well. For all other dates, repeat the last two digits only. For inclusive page numbers and other uses, repeat the last two digits only. Examples:
Arabic numerals are used for series, volume, part, section, or chapter numbers, even if roman numerals are given in the cited source. Roman numerals (lowercased) are used only for front-matter pages and illustrations/plates so numbered.
See also Dates, Dimensions.
For a list of useful Internet resources, click on Helpful Links. Suggestions for additional Web resources are always welcome, as is feedback on the present set of links. Send e-mails to email@example.com.
It is usually the author’s responsibility to obtain written permission to reproduce images of any kind. This may include permission from the owner of a work of art, from a photographer for his or her photograph of a work of art, from a photo agency, from the artist or artist’s agent, from an institution that holds copyright to the object or the image, or from others. Publishers may require that editors make sure all necessary permissions have been obtained and that any required credit form has been supplied.
The reprinting of text extracts of more than a few lines or so, unless covered by “fair use,” requires permission from the copyright holder, either the author or publisher or both. (Permission is generally requested from the publisher.)
The reprinting of poetry or song lyrics of any length requires permission from the copyright holder or, in the case of song lyrics, usually an agency that handles such matters, such as ASCAP.
A separate section listing photograph credits might begin in the following ways:
“Most of the photographs of works of art have been provided by the owners. The following list acknowledges photographs from other sources.”
“The author and publisher wish to express their appreciation to the following individuals and institutions, who kindly provided photographs.”
“We gratefully acknowledge the following people and institutions for the photographs and illustrations in this book.”
Text credits might begin:
“Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to quote from the following works.”
Some books list such credits page by page, a method that takes up a great deal of space. A more usual procedure is to make a list in alphabetical order, giving the name of the photographer, institution, or agency followed by page numbers and directionals (top, above, center, below, bottom, left, right) to specify the illustration when more than one appears on a single page. If directionals are abbreviated, a key should be given. The names and pages may be given in list form or run in, separated by semicolons.
The placement of the photograph or illustration credit in a caption rather than in a separate credits section is used primarily by periodicals. It usually appears at the end, following the credit line of the owner of the artwork, and is usually given in parentheses.
It is usually unnecessary to credit the museum or collection that owns the artwork as the supplier of the reproduction, unless the institution requires a special form of credit. Example: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. [credit line for owner of artwork] (photo: © Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art). A credit usually must be given if the photo was supplied by a photograph archive or agency or by an institution other than the owner or if the photographer’s name is required. Examples:
Musée du Louvre, Paris [owner] (photo: Réunion des Musées Nationaux)
Palazzo Pitti, Rome (photo: Alinari)
Private collection (photo: courtesy of Christie’s, New York)
Palazzo Bianco, Genoa (photo: Frick Art Reference Library)
San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, Rome (photo: Davis Lees, Rome)
(photo: University of Durham; photographer: T. Middlemass)
If the illustration was reproduced from a book, that information must be given, with the full facts of publication and the page and/or plate number. Example: (from Spiro Kostof, A History of Architecture [New York: Oxford University Press, 1985], p. 195, fig. 9.4.)
Drawings, diagrams, computer reconstructions, and other original illustrations should give the artists’ names in a photo credit. Example: (drawing: Liz Lauter).
Publishers generally request that photographic material and artwork be submitted in digital formats. They will recommend their preferred types of art files, and will need to know details of the software programs the author has used.
Usually, each digital illustration will have its own file, separate from the text files. Use file names that clearly identify the illustration, its point of insertion in the text, and whether it is black-and-white or color. A complete list of artwork-file names should be submitted as well as a list of all captions, keyed by numbers and/or letters in some clear way to the images. Besides the electronic submission, a hard copy of each artwork showing its file name is usually required. A publisher should be able to identify and cross-reference an artwork’s hard copy, its file, and its position within a manuscript or electronic text.
At the place in the text where an image is to be inserted, an electronic work may display a thumbnail image, along with its file name and the hyperlink to the file of the full-size image. Placement references (example:
Digital works in the public domain may be used without permission—with the owner acknowledged, as a courtesy, in the article/book—but the quality of Internet pictures or artwork created using the Microsoft Office suite may be too poor for use in a publication.
Electronic transmission is quickly becoming the preferred mode for submitting photographic material and artwork, but in some cases actual photographs, transparencies, and the like are acceptable.
Authors are usually responsible for obtaining photographs and transparencies and for obtaining permissions to reproduce them. Usually, authors pay for their own photographs. The question of who pays reproduction fees depends on the publisher. For journal articles, the author is in almost all cases responsible for this. For books and exhibition catalogues, however, the publisher may pay some or all of the reproduction fees. Many museums will waive reproduction fees for photographs to be used in scholarly periodicals.
Generally, photographs must be in hand when an article/book is submitted for publication. If illustrations need to be scanned, publishers usually prefer to do this themselves in order to ensure quality control. If you do not have a photograph of a particular artwork and want to wait to order the photograph until after publication decisions are made, you may be able to include a photocopy made from a book or other publication.
Black-and-white glossy prints on fiber-based paper made directly from the work of art are preferable in those cases where original rather than electronic submissions are required. The preferred size is 8 by 10 inches, with a white border on all sides, at least 1/4 inch wide on each side. If there is no white border, up to 1/4 inch of the image will be cropped in production. Each print should be submitted in a separate glassine envelope or plastic sleeve. If this is not possible, make sure the prints are in a protective plastic sleeve or folder with no edges protruding. Prints should be handled on the edges; avoid touching the photograph’s surface, as doing so can leave fingerprints.
Color photographs (in cases where original rather than electronic submissions are required) should be submitted as 4-by-5- or 8-by-10-inch transparencies. Good-quality slides are often acceptable, although they cannot be reproduced large. Color photographs (prints) may be acceptable. Slides and transparencies should be originals, not duplicates, and should not be in glass mounts, which often break and ruin them. Color transparencies should be in individual clear-plastic sleeves or envelopes. Slides should be in 8 1/2-by-11-inch slide sheets to avoid their being mislaid. Do not remove transparencies from their plastic sleeves or slides from their cardboard mounts. If transparency sleeves are mounted in cardboard, however, the cardboard may be carefully removed. Each illustration should be clearly marked with the author’s name, the artist, the title or description of the illustration, and the figure or identification number corresponding to the caption number or, if no numbers have yet been assigned, its intended location (example: chap. 1).
Marking should be done on a separate label. Write on adhesive labels before attaching them. Attach the identification label on a pressure-sensitive sticker or label to the back of the black-and-white photograph, to the plastic sleeve covering the transparency, or directly to the slide mount. If it is necessary to write directly on the back of photos, it should be done lightly with a soft-lead (no. 1) pencil. Hard pencils and ballpoint pens can ruin the surface of the photograph, whereas felt-tip pens can bleed or, if used on a group of photographs that are then stacked, transfer to the photographic surface underneath it. Do not use paper clips, staples, rubber bands, or other plastic or metal fasteners on or in contact with photographs. Never use Scotch tape on photographs—front or back.
If there might be a question as to which is the top of the illustration, write “top” at the appropriate edge or use an arrow to indicate the top edge. Similarly, the front of a transparency may need to be indicated in order to avoid having it printed in reverse (flopped). In the absence of other clues, the artist’s signature can be used to establish the correct orientation.
If only part of the illustration is required, the area to be reproduced should be clearly indicated on a photocopy or printout of the photograph. If the image contains writing, such as a caption in a print, indicate if the writing should be cropped out or if it is essential to retain the writing. If color transparencies are to be printed in black-and-white, or if a print needs to be cropped, silhouetted, touched up, or cleaned, that information should be noted on the envelopes enclosing them and/or on an illustration or photo list supplied with the illustrations.
The submission of illustrations should be accompanied by an illustration or caption list, sometimes called a photo log or illustration-transmittal list, with numbers corresponding to the identification numbers on the illustrations. The desired size of each illustration should be indicated (large, medium, small; A, B, C; full page, half page, quarter page), those to be reproduced in color so marked, and any illustrations that belong together noted, as well as any other instructions for the designer, such as cropping, silhouetting, converting from color to black-and-white, touching up, cleaning, or making a detail. It may be useful to note the format of the illustration submitted (b/w, transparency, slide, and so on), as this information is essential for the production list, which will contain all the above information with final numbers and the final order of all illustrations being used.
If illustrations are to be interspersed with the text, they must be keyed to the text. If editing with pencil on paper, indicate placement of illustrations at the ends of paragraphs where they should approximately appear, with:
For possessives, add an apostrophe and an s to all names, including those ending in s or a sibilant (examples: Keats’s; Degas’s; Eakins’s; Marx’s).
For Greek names of more than one syllable ending in -es, add an apostrophe and an s (example: Xerxes’s). See Chicago 7.17–23.
Use a singular possessive for animal adjectives (examples: lion’s-head decoration; bull’s-eye window) and entities such as corporations and organizations, except when the name is a plural form ending in s (example: Springboard for the Arts’ workshop).
Depending on the publisher and the schedule, an author may be involved in several rounds of editing before a manuscript is finalized—and is responsible for carefully proofreading the agreed-upon finished edit. The author should be permitted to read the first set of page proofs in order to fix gross errors but should not be permitted to rewrite on proofs, and can be charged for corrections that the publisher deems excessive. The standard correction allowance before charges are applied is 10 percent.
Use a comma before and and or in a series of three or more elements. Example:
The collection contains paintings, drawings, and prints.
In introductory phrases, follow what appears to be the author’s comma-use preference. A comma is not necessary, but it may be used. Examples:
In the beginning, she studied architecture.
In 1965 she had her first solo exhibition.
By 1972, she was exhibiting regularly.
Use a comma after introductory dependent clauses. Example:
If you build it, they will come.
Use a comma before which when it introduces a nonrestrictive clause (one that adds information but that if omitted would not change the meaning of the sentence). Example:
She wrote an article about action painting, which was the subject of a recent exhibition, for a Sunday news magazine.
Use a comma for absolute appositives only. Example:
He introduced his second wife, Clare. Her daughter Joanne joined them. [She has more than one daughter.]
In compound sentences, use a comma (not a semicolon) if the second independent clause is introduced by a conjunction, such as and and but. Example:
The artists came from similar backgrounds, but their painting styles were quite different.
In general, no comma is needed if the two phrases share the same subject; this is a compound predicate. Example:
The artists came from different backgrounds but painted in a similar style.
If the second clause is introduced by a conjunctive adverb such as however and therefore, use a semicolon (not a comma). Example:
The artist has worked in several media; however, she now prefers acrylics.
If the second clause follows the first without a conjunction or a conjunctive adverb, use a semicolon (not a comma). Example:
The exhibition will open May 1; the members’ reception will be April 30.
Use semicolons to separate items in a series of items that have their own commas (internal punctuation). Example:
His work has been shown at the Art Students League, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.
Use a solidus instead of an en dash to convey “either/or” rather than like elements. Examples: b. 1246/48 (born in either 1246 or 1248) but 1898–1966 (lived from 1898 to 1966); designer/typesetter but painter-sculptor. In such uses, no extra space is called for before and after the solidus. A thin space (from a hairline to an en dash) is usually added when separating multiple elements (Princeton University Press / Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) and in indicating ends of lines in poetry or inscriptions (Signed: Copyright by / Frederic Remington).
By convention, Americans place periods and commas inside quotation marks and semicolons and colons outside. Exclamation points and question marks go in or out, according to sense.
These should be placed outside commas, colons, periods, and closing parentheses but inside dashes (on the left side of the dash).
This is usually set roman, including parentheses enclosing a word or words completely in italics. It is not incorrect to make punctuation and parentheses italic—a more traditional style—so long as it is done consistently.
Quotations must be absolutely accurate and carefully transcribed. An ellipsis (three spaced dots) indicates words omitted within a sentence. A period and three spaced dots indicate a deletion between sentences or paragraphs.
Unless the quoted material is governed by fair use, the author must obtain permission to quote published material. For guidelines of fair use, see Chicago 4.77–87.
If a translated quotation comes from a published source and not the author of the manuscript, that source must be given (usually in a note).
Extensive quotations (varying from more than fifty words to more than ten lines) should be typed as extracts, that is, without opening and closing quotation marks and set off from the text with a block indent. Shorter quotations should be run into the text.
To mark a block quotation for the typesetter or printer, write “extract” or “EXT” in the margin next to the quotation, with a vertical marginal line to indicate the full block.
Lines of poetry run into text are separated by a solidus (slash /) with a thin space on either side. Several lines of poetry are usually set in a block, marked “poetry extract.”
“Emphasis added” indicates the author’s addition of italics to quoted matter.
Brackets in quoted material indicate the author’s interpolation.
The interpolation [sic] indicates a misspelling or mistake in the original quotation. Chicago 13.7 finds it permissible to correct a simple typographical error in printed materials. In a document filled with grammatical errors and misspellings or antiquated spellings, [sic] is unnecessary. It is best used sparingly, to avoid confusion. Note that the word sic is always in italics, inside roman brackets.
The only other change to quotations permitted is of quotation marks, to conform to the system used in the manuscript (usually American, that is, with double quotation marks inside the quote for the first time, then single quotes inside those double quotes).
A short quotation placed at the beginning of text is an epigraph, and it should always be set as a block indent. It is usually followed by an em dash, the name of the author, the title of the work the quotation comes from, and a note number, which will provide publication information about the source from which the quotation was taken. If it is desired that no note number be used in the epigraph, the source can be given in an unnumbered note that precedes the numbered note and may be indicated by the word epigraph in italics, followed by a period, or a sentence stating the source of the epigraph.
See also Extracts.
Listed here are reliable reference books and Websites for publishing and style matters.
For all aspects of publishing and style, see The Chicago Manual of Style, referred to herein as Chicago.
For spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, and word division, see Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (unabridged) or Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Webster’s 2nd (unabridged) may be used for words not found in Webster’s 3rd. The Oxford English Dictionary is a good source for obscure words and for the roots of words generally.
For proper names, see Webster’s Biographical Dictionary. The American Heritage Dictionary includes proper names and usage notes.
For artists’ names, see The Grove Dictionary of Art and the Bénézit Dictionary of Artists.
For museum names, The Official Museum Directory is the standard source for museums in the United States and Canada. Also check the individual museum’s Website.
For international museum names, see the International Directory of Arts. Also check the individual museum’s Website.
For preferred spellings of place names, see Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary. Also useful for place names is The Times World Atlas (1992, or later edition), using the first (preferred) listing.
For a reliable book on grammar and style, see The Handbook of Good English, by Edward D. Johnson (1991). Words into Type (3rd ed., 1974) has a section providing correct prepositions to use with many words. The Little Red Writing Book, by Brandon Royal (2012), offers a concise overview of structure, style, and readability in expository (nonfiction) writing.
For special terminology pertaining to art, The Harper Collins Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, 2nd ed. (1991) is quite useful.
For a list of useful Internet resources, click on Helpful Links. Suggestions for additional Web resources are always welcome, as is feedback on the present set of links. Send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use Saint and the standard form of the name in English when referring to saints.
In an individual’s name, follow the bearer’s usage. Examples:
Susan Saint James
Ruth St. Denis
For places, churches, etc., use the local forms. Examples:
St. Louis, Mo.
S. Lucia or Sta. Lucia
In manuscripts dealing heavily with church names, abbreviations may be used.
Saint Peter’s (the Vatican) in Rome is always given in English form. French forms with Saint and Sainte are usually hyphenated, with no period. Examples:
The city names St. Paul, Minnesota, St. Louis, Missouri, and St. Petersburg, Russia, may be spelled out or abbreviated, so long as one or the other style is used consistently.
See Words and terms.
There are no set rules on the capitalization of theological terms. Chicago (8.90–110) and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary are useful sources.
In texts dealing primarily with religious images, objects, or issues, generally capitalize Christian theological terms. Examples: Apostles, Archangel Gabriel, the Baptist, Benediction, Christ Child, Church Fathers, the Crucifixion, Eucharist/Eucharistic, Evangelists, God the Father, Gospel Book, Heaven, Holy Communion, Immaculate Conception, Incarnation, Judgment Day, Judgment of Solomon, Man of Sorrows, Mass, Massacre of the Innocents, Mother of God, Nativity, Original Sin, Passion Play, Prophets and Sibyls, Scripture, Three Marys, Virtues and Vices (capitalize individual ones, example: Envy). In other texts, Chicago recommends lowercasing most such terms.
In general, capitalize formally named theological terms and lowercase those referred to generically. Examples: archangels, birth and death of Christ, breviary, canon tables, communion, disciples, his birth (no capitalized pronominal adjectives), prayer book, sacrament. Other examples:
Book of Job, the Law, Psalm 22, Pentateuchal
The prophet Muhammad, the Prophet; the Qur’an, Qur’anic, Hegira
Bhagavadgita, Rig Veda, sutra, Upanishads, Vedas, Vedic, Dharma or dharma, mandala
Titles of exhibitions, works of art, books, online publications, periodicals, pamphlets, movies, television and radio series, video works, plays, long poems, operas, and compact discs are usually given in italic type. Titles and other elements that are normally italicized within titles are enclosed in quotation marks (examples: Virtue and Beauty: Leonardo’s “Ginevra de’ Benci” and Renaissance Portraits of Women; The Raft of the “Medusa”). Standardize capitalization in the titles of books and periodicals rather than following title pages or design logos (example: Art News). Some editors find it useful to impose standard punctuation as well, such as serial commas and hyphens. A word that is normally lowercase in a title remains lowercase when it follows a dash (example: De Sade—a Memoir).
Titles of short poems, articles, songs, short stories, essays, individual episodes of television or radio series, conferences, symposia, and lectures are generally enclosed in quotation marks.
If the official title begins with an article, the article should always be retained, capitalized and italicized (example: A Treatise on Painting Written by Cennino Cennini in the Year 1437; The Gross Clinic), except when it is in a sentence whose syntax calls for its omission. Examples: Henry James’s Turn of the Screw (but Henry James’s novella The Turn of the Screw).
A colon precedes subtitles (example: Emulation: Making Artists for Revolutionary France). If there is more than one subtitle, semicolons are used to separate them (example: L’époque de Lucas de Leyde et Pierre Bruegel: Dessins des anciens Pays-Bas; Collection Frits Lugt). Titles of European books are often given with a period instead of a colon for the subtitle, but if this system is used, it should be used for all books. (Note that Chicago 14.97 recommends only a colon.)
Series titles—of lectures, films, performances, works of art, or of continuing exhibition programs—are often capitalized, are set in roman (not italic) type, and are not enclosed in quotation marks (examples: Frank Stella’s Black paintings; Picasso’s Bathers; the A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts). Note, however, that Chicago 8.193 recommends setting series of artworks in italics.
Generic titles of musical works are usually given in roman (not italic) type and are capitalized (examples: Beethoven’s Symphony No. [or no.] 9; Symphony in G Major; Sonata in E-flat; Bach’s B Minor Mass). Non-generic titles should be italicized (example: Handel’s Messiah) or, if the composer has not given a descriptive name, treated as nicknames, in roman type and enclosed in quotation marks (example: Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 5, the “Emperor”).
In titles of publications in English, capitalize the first word, the last word, all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjunctions. Lowercase articles, coordinate conjunctions, prepositions, and the to in infinitives. Follow these rules regardless of the capitalization used on the book’s title page. (Note that Chicago 8.155 says cited titles—aside from its own exceptions—are usually given headline-style capitalization. See Chicago 11.3 for the capitalization of foreign titles. Since editors frequently cannot check original titles, that means relying on the author’s transcriptions. It might make more sense to standardize capitalization in editing book titles.)
Italicize titles of artworks (see Titles).
Traditional names for artworks and official names of buildings or other architectural monuments are usually capitalized but not italicized. Examples:
Baptistery of Pisa
Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
Piazza San Marco
Venus de Milo
Generic and descriptive words for artworks and buildings are generally lowercased. Examples:
cathedral of Milan (but Milan Cathedral)
church of Notre-Dame
Lotto’s Louvre altarpiece
tomb of Cardinal Albani
Works of art are often known by more than one title or in more than one language. There can be no fixed general rule for titles of artworks, but the following principles may be a guide:
Any work in an English-language museum or collection should usually be titled as the museum or owner titles it. However, a well-known variant title is sometimes acceptable. In such cases, it might be useful to give the name the owner uses in parentheses following the variant. Since the institution normally requires that its title be used in the caption, that title should appear first. In general, when alternative titles are used, the primary or principal title is given first, with the variant (or a title from earlier usage) following in parentheses.
Works in foreign-language museums or collections are often given in English (using an established name, if one exists), unless the foreign title is difficult to translate or the work is well known by its original title, such as Henri Matisse’s Le bonheur de vivre, which is in an American collection. Some artworks are universally known by their foreign-language titles, such as Michelangelo’s Pietà. If the collection uses a foreign title, the English translation, if desired, normally follows in parentheses and in italics after the title’s first use in the text and perhaps in the caption, too. Alternatively, the translation may be given in roman type, capitalized sentence style (only the first word and any proper nouns).
In general, the English title is sufficient for books aimed at a popular audience, but in books of a more scholarly nature titles are often given in both the original language and in an English translation.
Not to be considered titles are categories of subject matter, which are capitalized but not italicized. Example: He was commissioned to paint an Annunciation and ended up painting an Adoration of the Magi as well. Likewise, names acquired by tradition are not to be considered titles, as in the Friedsam Annunciation. (Friedsam is not part of the title of the work.) The distinction between the subject and the title should be respected. Examples: He made a painting of the Battle of Cascina; he made a painting, The Battle of Cascina. She executed a portrait of the artist in her studio; her Portrait of the Artist in Her Studio.
Names of objects are usually capitalized and not italicized. Examples:
the Hours of Catherine of Cleves
the Warren Cup
See also Foreign languages.
Except in acknowledgments, professional titles used without the name appear in lowercase. Many institutions insist on capitalizing them in acknowledgments; if this is the case, they should not be preceded by an article, and they should immediately precede or follow the name. Example:
[Name], Director, National Gallery of Art
[Name], the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
[Name], curator of American Painting.
A named chair or position, however, is always capitalized. Example:
[Name], Tucker-Boatwright Professor of Humanities, [Institution].
Titles of nobility and civil and ecclesiastical titles should be capitalized only when they immediately precede the name. When the title is in apposition before a name, used as a descriptive element, it is lowercased. Examples:
Alfonso, duke of Ferrara; the duke of Ferrara; the dukes of Ferrara; Duke Alfonso of Ferrara
the king of Spain; King Philip IV; the king Philip IV of Spain (used in appositive)
the pope said; Popes Leo and John; Pope Leo said
Mayor Daley; the mayor
Below is a selection of words and terms that appear frequently in art-related writing. Note that trademarked names must be capitalized. In cases where more than one version of a word or term is currently used, both are listed, separated by a solidus; the order does not reflect a preference.
16 mm/35 mm
Abstract Expressionism, Abstract Expressionist (specific style)
abstract geometric style
Action Painting/Action painting/action painting
African American (noun and adjective, per Chicago), African-American (n. and adj., per Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)
All-over/all-over (n. and adj.)
Art Deco/art deco
art historical/art-historical (adj.)
Arts and Crafts movement/Arts and Crafts Movement
Art Students League
Ashcan school/Ashcan School
Asian (instead of Oriental)
avant-garde (noun and adj.)
Baroque period (specific style)
Beuys, Joseph (not Josef)
Biennial, the (Whitney)
Biennale, the (Venice)
black (as in black American, black artist, etc.)
black-figure (only as adj.)
Body Art/Body art/body art
c.e. (ce) /a.d. (ad)
catalogue raisonné, catalogues raisonnés
circa (abbrev. c. or ca.)
civil rights movement
Classical period (of ancient Greece)
CoBrA (Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam)
Color Field painting/color field painting/color-field painting
Conceptual Art/Conceptual art/conceptual art
Constructivism, Constructivist (specific style)
copublish, copublisher, copublication
Cor-Ten steel (trademarked)
cross-hatching (n.), cross-hatch (v.)
draftsman (not draughtsman)
Dynasty 18/XVIII Dynasty/Eighteenth Dynasty
East, the (eastern United States or Asia)
et al. (no comma preceding it)
expressionism, Expressionism, expressionist
facade (no cedilla)
forego (to go before, precede); forgo (to abstain from, do without)
Futurism, Futurist (specific style)
genre art, genre painting
gilt bronze (n.), gilt-bronze (adj.)
golden mean, golden section
Gothic (Early, High, Late)
Great Depression, the Depression (referring to the Great Depression)
hard edge (n.), hard-edge (adj.)
hard paste (n.), hard-paste (adj.)
House of the Centenary (Pompeii)
Hudson River school
idem (not italic)
inquiry (but ensure)
in situ (not italic)
Kinetic Art/Kinetic art/kinetic art
Land Art/Land art
Medici, de’ (Lorenzo de’ Medici)
Minimal Art/Minimal art
Minimalism, Minimalist (specific style)
mise en abîme
mise-en-scène (not italic)
modello (pl. modelli)
Neoclassic(ism), Neoclassical (specific style)
new wave (but French New Wave)
New York school/New York School
northern Europe/Northern Europe
old master (sometimes Old Master)
Op Art/Op art/op art
parcel-gilt (n. and adj.)
pentimento (pl. pentimenti)
Performance Art/Performance art/performance art, performance artist
per se (not italic)
Photorealism, Photorealist (specific style)
Photostat (n., trademarked), photostat (verb), photostatic
pièce de résistance
plein air, plein-air (adj.), pleinairist, pleinairism (but en plein air)
Pop Art/Pop art/pop art
ready-made (n. and adj.)
Realism (19th-century movement)
Renaissance (Early, High, Late)
Romantic period, Romantic(ism)
São Paolo Bienal/Bienal de São Paolo
school (New York school)/School (Paris School)
school of Leonardo
Scotch tape (trademarked)
silkscreen/silk-screen (n., v.)
Social Realism (specific style)
soft paste (n.), soft-paste (adj.)
still life, still lifes (n), still-life (adj.)
Surrealism, Surrealist (specific style)
Symbolism (specific style)
tchotchke (not italic)
terra cotta (n.), terra-cotta (adj.)/terracotta (n. and adj.)
under way (adverb)
United States (instead of U.S.A. or America); possessive: the United States’ position
Vingt, Les/Les XX
West, the (western United States)
World Wide Web
wood engraver, wood engraving
work in progress/work-in-progress
World War I, World War II
Xerox (n., trademark), xerox (v.), xerography
X ray (n.), X-ray (adj.)