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Art & Art History

Getting Started with your Citations

Art Historians use Chicago Style in their publications.

Citation Managers are tools to help you keep track of your citations as you research and to create/format your citations and bibliography. They are a good option so you don't have to write all your citations by hand.

Pitfalls of Automatic Citation Managers/Formatters and Art Books

If you are using a citation manager such as Zotero, or any other tool that automatically formats citations, you must be very careful when citing art books. Many art books are listed in library catalogs with the artist as author of the book, even if they were dead when it was written.

For example, this book was published in 2009, over 30 years after Picasso died

The auto formatted citation will be

Picasso, Pablo, Yve-Alain. Bois, and Palazzo del Vittoriano (Rome, Italy). 2009. Picasso Harlequin, 1917-1937. Milano: Skira.

but the correct citation is

Alain-Bois, Yves, ed. 2009. Picasso Harlequin, 1917-1937. Milano: Skira.

Citing Images

Image citations according to the Chicago Manual of Style (14.235)

Artist First-name Last-name, Artwork Title, date, material, dimensions, owner of work (such as museum), location, URL (if you found it online).

Here is an example of this with an actual work of art:

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Comtesse d'Haussonville, 1845, oil on canvas, 51 7/8 × 36 1/4 in. (131.8 × 92.1 cm), The Frick Collection, New York,

What is Copyright and Fair Use?

Copyright protects the rights of a creator to make copies of his/her own work. Facts, ideas, U.S. government works, and most work created before 1923 are considered public domain and are not protected by copyright. Copyright protection falls under Title 17, U.S. Code and covers "original works of authorship." If you do not own the copyright for a work, you must get permission from the owner before reproducing/sharing their work.

Fair Use
Fair Use (17 U.S.C. §107 ) makes certain uses of a copyrighted work without the owner's permission legal. Fair Use is the reason why we can quote from a book when we are making an argument in a paper, or why a professor can show a reproduction of an artwork in a class lecture. The law around Fair Use is purposely vague, so you must analyze each use against the Four Fair Use Factors, to determine if it is legal and fair use or not.

The four factors to consider when determining if your use is fair use are:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
 the nature of the copyrighted work;
 the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
 the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Visual Resources Association and College Art Association Statements on Fair Use

The Visual Resources Association (VRA) and the College Art Association (CAA) have both issued statements on the fair use of images. Each argues that the use of images for teaching in limited-access online course sites (such as a course Sakai site) counts as fair use, but each states that as a good faith gesture, those images should have full attribution  describing the artwork (title, artist, medium, size, date, owner, etc.) and stating the copyright owner.