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MLA Citation Style 9th Edition: Physical object (artworks including photographs or artifacts)

Physical objects experienced firsthand:

Citation description:
Artist’s Last Name, First Name. Title of the work, the date of composition,  the institution's name, the city in which the work is located, but omit the city if it is part of the institution's name (MLA 49). The medium of publication and materials of composition (for instance, “Lithograph on paper,” “Photograph,” “Charcoal on paper,”) if important for your discussion, could be included at the end of the entry as optional elements.      

Citation examples:

Constable, John. Dedham Vale. 1802, Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Oil on canvas.

Rodin, Auguste. The Thinker. Circa 1880, cast circa 1904, The Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California.

Physical objects found online

According to, include the name of the Web site (in italics) as the title of the container, followed by the publisher of the Web site and the URL (only provide http:// or https:// for live link if you are submitting your paper online) and the access date. Following page 42 of the handbook, omit the publisher’s name if it is essentially the same as the title of the Web site. 

Constable, John. Dedham Vale1802. National Galleries of Scotland, 2016. Accessed 25 Oct. 2016.

Rodin, Auguste. The ThinkerCirca 1880, cast circa 1904. The Legion of Honor, Accessed 26 Oct. 2016.

Note that the year (1802 in the first example, Circa 1880, cast circa 1904 in the second example) is followed by a period, because it tells you when Dedham Vale  and The Thinker were created, not when it was published on the site National Galleries of Scotland and The Legion of Honor. It thus appears in the optional-element slot after the element to which it relates (see the MLA Handbook 50–53 for more). There is no date after the title of the container (the websites National Galleries of Scotland  and The Legion of Honor) because the date the image was posted is not given on the site (

Photographs viewed in person

List the author of the photograph, if known. Then provide a description of the photograph in place of a title. List the date the photograph was taken, if known. 

Citation example:

Adams, Ansel. Gottardo Piazzoni in His Studio. 1932.

To cite a photograph in a personal collection, in the optional-element slot at the end of the entry, indicate that the photograph is in a personal collection:

Citation example:

Smith, John. Photograph of the sculpture of Miguel Cervantes in San Francisco Golden Gate Park. 4 Sept. 2018. Author’s personal collection.

Reproductions of artwork (such as photographs of artwork in a book, magazine, or website))

Enter the title of the book, magazine or website in the second container, followed by the information for the source in which the photograph appears, including page or reference numbers (plate, figure, etc.). If it is a website, add the URL without http:// or https://.

RodinAuguste. The ThinkerCirca 1880, cast circa 1904, The Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California. Rodin, by Bernard Champigneulle, translated and adapted from the French by J.Maxwell Brownjohn, Abrams, c1967, plates 54-55.

Untitled Artworks

Provide a generic description of the source, neither italicized nor enclosed in quotation marks. Capitalize the first word of the description and any proper nouns in it.” (MLA 28-29)

Citation description:
Artist's Last Name, First Name. Description of the work. Year the work created, Location of the Work, City, State.

Citation example:

Africano, Nicolas. A woman's head wrap with bandana, 2007, De Young Museum, San Francisco, California.