Art Titles In Essays Mla

Original Drawing / Painting / Sculpture / Photo / Etc.
If artist is unknown, begin with the title. You can leave out the city, if it is part of the museum or collection name.

Artist. Title. Year. Museum or Collection, City.

Pratt, Christopher. Young Girl with Seashells. 1965. Memorial University
       Art Gallery Permanent Collection, Corner Brook.

For untitled artworks, provide a generic description. Do not italicize or capitalize each word:

Westwood, Vivian. Lime green, faux crocodile platform shoes. 1993.
       Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto.

Image in an Art Database (e.g. ARTstor)

Artist. Title of Artwork. Year. Museum, or Collection, City. Name of
, doi or URL (do not include “http://”).

Landing of Atlantic Cable in Newfoundland, 1866. 1900. George Eastman
       House, Rochester. ARTstor,

Reproduction in a Book
For a book with 3 or more authors, start with the 1st author listed followed by “et al.” For edited or translated books, add the descriptive label "editor" or “editors" or “translator”. In the publisher's name leave out words like Company, Corporation, Inc., or Ltd. Abbreviate Press (“P”) and University (“U”). For books published before 1900, use city in place of publisher, otherwise only add city when it may help locate a book published in an unexpected place or by an unfamiliar publisher outside North America. For multiple publishers, separate publisher names with a /

Artist. Title of Artwork. Year. Museum or Collection, City. Author/s or
       Editor/s. Title of Book. Publisher, Year of publication. Page/Figure/
       Plate number.

Jacque, Herbie. Labrador Black Duck. 2009. Lawrence O'Brien Auditorium,
       Goose Bay. Dorrie Brown. Uncommon Clay: The Labradoria Mural.
       Creative Publishers, 2010. 18.

Reproduction in a Print Journal

Artist. Title of Artwork. Year. Museum or Collection, City. Author/s. "Title
       of Article." Name of Journal, vol. #, no. #, day Mon. year, p. #.

Carr, Emily. Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky. 1935. Vancouver Art
       Gallery, Emily Carr Trust, Vancouver. Sharyn R. Udall. "Georgia
       O'Keeffe and Emily Carr: Health, Nature and the Creative Process."
       Women's Art Journal, vol. 27, no. 1, 2006, p. 23.

Reproduction on an Online Journal
If you accessed the article using one of the Library's Databases (e.g. JSTOR, Art Index, etc.) provide the name of the Database. If there are no page numbers, the URL alone is sufficient.

Artist. Title of Artwork. Year. Museum or Collection, City. Author/s. "Title
       of Article."Name of Journal, vol. #, no. #, day Mon. year, p. #.
       Database Name, doi or URL (do not include “http://”).

Sherman, Cindy. Untitled Film Still #56. 1980. Collection of Mary Harron.
       Christopher Townsend. “Art as Commodity as Art.” Art Monthly, vol.
       368, July/Aug. 2013, p. 2. Art Index, cfc9-4324-

Reproduction on a Website
You can use a date range for a website developed over time: e.g. 1996-2014. If you are uncertain, enclose the date in square brackets and add a question mark: e.g. [2008?]. If no date is given, use the date you accessed the website.If the publisher is essentially the same as the website author or title, you can leave it out.

Artist. Title of Artwork. Year. Museum or Collection, City. Name of
       Website. Name of Website Publisher, day Mon. year, URL
       (do not include “http://”).

Shepherd, Helen Parsons. Sunday Morning. 1962. Collection of
       Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s. The Rooms.
       Accessed 20 Sept. 2016,

Film or TV Show
After the title, you can include the names of any contributor(s) relevant to your research. For the publisher, list the organization (studio, network, production company) that had the “primary overall responsibility for it.”

. Original year of release. Contributor/s, Publisher,
              year of DVD release.

       Down to the Dirt. 2008. Directed by Justin Simms, performance
              by Joel Thomas Hynes, Mongrel Media, 2009.

       “Episode.”Date it aired. Title, contributor/s, season #,
              episode #, Publisher, year of DVD release, disc #.

       “The Ryans and the Pittmans.” 16 Feb. 2011. Republic of
              Doyle: The Complete Series
, written by Steven DiMarco,
              season 2, episode 6, CBC Home Video, 2016, disc 5.

       Include URL unless your Instructor has specified not to. Note: Some streaming services (like Netflix) might not have a URL.

       Title. Contributor/s, Publisher, original year of release.
              Title of Database or Website, URL (do not include

       Say Old Man - Can You Play The Fiddle? Performance by
              Earl Collins, Documentary Educational Resources, 2003.
              Ethnographic Video Online,

       “Episode.”Title, contributor/s, season #, episode #,
              Publisher, date it aired. Title of Database or Website,
              Title of Database or Website,
URL (do not include

       “The Great Race.” Degrassi Junior High, season 1, episode 5,
              CBC Television, 1987. Netflix.

If your research focuses on the contribution of a particular person, begin with their name followed by a descriptive label:

       Hallstrom, Lasse, director. The Shipping News. Based on the
              novel by Annie Proulx, screenplay by Robert Nelson
              Jacobs, Miramax, 2001. iTunes.

Graphic Novel/Comic
If there are more than 2 contributors (writers, artists, etc.) start with the 1st person listed followed by “et al.”

Contributor(s). Title of Issue. Title of Series, no. or vol. #,
       Publisher, year.

Gaiman, Neil, et al. Season of Mists. The Sandman, vol. 4,
       Vertigo, 2011.

Willingham, Bill, et al. Barleycorn Brides. Fables, no. 18,
       Vertigo, 2003.

Simply put: no.

APA's Publication Manual (2010) indicates that, in the body of your paper, you should use italics for the titles of:

  • books
  • periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers)
  • films
  • videos
  • TV shows
  • Microfilm publications

Beyond APA's specific examples, know that certain types of titles are almost always written in italics. 

Use italics in a word-processed document for the types of titles you'd underline if you were writing by hand.  A general rule of thumb is that within the text of a paper, italicize the title of complete works but put quotation marks around titles of parts within a complete work. 

The table below isn't comprehensive, but it's a good starting point

Titles in ItalicsTitles Placed in "Quotation Marks"
Title of a periodical (magazine, journal, newspaper)              Title of article in a periodical
Title of a book   Title of a chapter in a book
Title of a movie or playName of an act or scene in a movie or a play
Title of a television or radio series   Title of an episode within a tv or radio series
Title of a musical album or CDTitle of a song
Title of a long poemTitle of a short poem
Names of operas or long musical composition
Names of paintings and sculptures

Title of a short story

On an APA-style reference page, the rules for titles are a little different.  In short, a title you would italicize within the body of a paper will also be italicized on a reference page.  However, a title you'd place in quotation marks within the body of the paper (such as the title of an article within a journal) will be written in normal lettering and will not be in quotation marks.

Here are some examples:

Smith (2001) research is fully described in the Journal of Higher Education.

Smith's (2001) article "College Admissions See Increase" was published in the Journal of Higher Education after his pivotal study on the admissions process.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *