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Art History: Modern to Contemporary: Copyright and Fair Use

To support research in Art 153

Fair Use

Why is fair use so important?

Fair use allows you to use copyrighted material in your academic work. By claiming fair use, you can download and use images in your papers, presentations, and capstone projects while you are here at Felician University. You must still include the citation for the piece of art you are using! 

Check out this page for tips on claiming fair use and any other questions you may have about copyright. 

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in the Visual Arts

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in the Visual Arts is the go-to resource for determining whether you can claim fair use or not when using copyrighted materials. The Code covers the following five questions:

  • Analytic Writing- When may scholars and other writers about art invoke fair use to quote, excerpt, or reproduce copyrighted works?
  • Teaching about Art- When may teachers invoke fair use in using copyrighted materials to support formal instruction in a range of settings, including online and distance learning?
  • Making Art- Under what circumstances may artists invoke fair use to incorporate copyrighted material into new artworks in any medium?
  • Museum Uses- When may museums and their staffs invoke fair use in using copyrighted materials when organizing exhibitions, developing educational materials, publishing catalogues, and other related activities?
  • Online Access to Archival and Special Collections- When may such institutions and their staffs invoke fair use to create digital preservation copies and/or enable digital access to copyrighted materials in their collections?

College Art Association. "Programs: Fair Use." Accessed April 17, 2018.

Fair Use at Work in the Visual Arts

College Art Association. "Fair Use at Work in the Visual Arts." YouTube, February 9, 2015. Video, 6:14.


The following citation formats are in Chicago Manual of Style, as the majority of humanities use Chicago. As always, follow your instructor's directions. If they prefer you to use a different citation and style format, default to their instructions. 

Paintings, photographs, and sculpture


1. Artist name, Title of Work, date of creation or completion, information about the medium, location of artwork. [, add the URL if accessed piece of work online.]

Bibliography entry

Artist Last name, First name. Title of Work. Date of completion or creation. Information about the medium. Location of artwork. [insert URL if accessed online. 


1. Dorothea Lange, Black Maria, Oakland, 1957, printed 1965, gelatin silver print, 39.3 x 37 cm, Art Institute, Chicago, 

Lange, Dorothea. Black Maria, Oakland. 1957, Printed 1965. Gelatin silver print, 39.3 x 37 cm. Art Institute,


Exhibition Catalogs

Treat exhibition catalogs as you would books in Chicago. 


Witkovsky, Matthew S., ed. Sarah Charlesworth: Stills. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2014. Published in conjunction with an exhibition of the

same title, organized by and presented at the Art Institute of Chicago, September 18, 2014- January 4, 2015. 

Need a refresher on how to cite books, articles and websites? Visit our Chicago Manual of Style LibGuide

The University of Chicago. The Chicago Manual of Style. 17th ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2017.