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Art Research: APA Citation Rules

Main Research Guide for Library Resources used in Art History, Studio Art, and Visual Studies


  • The APA does not require reference list entries for ephemeral works like performance art, because they no longer exist, and therefore you cannot lead the reader back to the source. Videos of such performances should be in the reference list though.

APA Citation Guide

Works of Visual Art

Elements of citation:

Artistslastname, A. A. (Year of composition). Title of Work. [Format]. Place work resides.

Examples citations:

Carvaggio, M. (1606). Death of the Virgin. [Painting]. Retrieved from

Jevbratt, L. (2005). Migration (a map of the Internet) [Digital visualization]. Retrieved from

Rodin, A. (1902). The thinker [Bronze and marble sculpture]. Paris, France: Musée Rodin.

Wyeth, A. (1948). Christina’s world [Painting]. New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art.

Wyeth, A. (1948). Christina’s world [Painting]. Retrieved from

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Film or Video Recordings (including online sources)

Elements of citation:

Traditional Film: Producerlastname, A. A. (Producer), & Directorlastname, A. (Director). (Year of publication). Title of video or movie [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio.

Online Film: Creatorlastname, A. A. (Date of publication). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from URL

Example citations:

Motoki, S. (Producer), & Kurosawa, A. (Director). (1954). Shichinin no samurai [Seven samurai; Motion picture]. Japan: Toho.

Hungrybear9562. (2010, January 8). Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10 [Video file]. Retrieved from

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Graphic Narratives

Elements of citation:

Writers last name, A. A. (Writer), & Artists last name, A. (Illus.). (Year of publication). Title of work. City of publication: Publisher.

Example citation:

Moore, A. (Writer), & Gibbons, D. (Illus.). (1986). Watchmen. New York: DC Comics Inc.

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Online Maps

Elements of Citation:

Organization name (Cartographer). (Year). Title of map [Type of map]. Retrieved from URL

Example citation:

Lewis County Geographic Information Services (Cartographer). (2002). Population density, 2000 U.S. Census [Demographic map]. Retrieved from

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About this Guide

This guide was created by Alex Jenkins on May 10, 2011 and is updated and maintained by the UC Irvine Libraries' Image Services Team.

It was originally created using the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Sixth Edition).

Bear in mind that the primary purpose of citing references is to help the reader find the original sources.

Several of the examples used to illustrate these rules were selected from the Publication Manual and from The book can be found here (Call number: BF76.7 .P83 2010).

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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