How to Cite an Exhibition with APA Referencing
  • 3-minute read
  • 11th March 2021

How to Cite an Exhibition with APA Referencing

If you write about an art exhibition in an essay, you may need to cite it. But how do you do this? Here, we look at how to cite an exhibition using APA referencing.

How to Cite an Exhibition in APA Referencing

Citing an exhibition with APA referencing is similar to citing most source types. Instead of using an author’s name, however, you replace it with that of the exhibition’s curator(s), if known, followed by the year(s) it ran:

The Diane Arbus exhibition (Rosenheim, 2019) sold out.

If you have used the curator’s name in the main text, don’t repeat it in the citation. Instead, simply cite the year(s) of the exhibition after their name:

 Rosenheim (2019) felt an Arbus exhibition was overdue.

You can usually find who curated an exhibition online. If you aren’t able to find the name of a curator, though, give the exhibition name in italics in its place:

One show focused on Blake’s visual art (William Blake: The Artist, 2019–2020).

You then need to give full details of the exhibition in your reference list.

Remember that the curator is key here, not the artist. Above, for instance, we cite an exhibition of works by the photographer Diane Arbus. However, we’re discussing the exhibition as a whole, not a specific artwork, so we have to cite the curator.

For information on citing an artwork from a museum, see this post.

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Adding an Exhibition to an APA Reference List

The basic format for an exhibition in an APA reference list is:

Curator(s) Surname, Initial(s). (Year or years ran). Exhibition Title [Exhibition]. Museum name, Town/City, State (if applicable), Country. URL of exhibition website (if available)

In practice, then, an exhibition reference might look like this:

Rosenheim, J.L. (2019). Diane Arbus: In the beginning [Exhibition]. The Hayward Gallery, London, United Kingdom. https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/art-exhibitions/diane-arbus-in-the-beginning

If you don’t know the curator’s name, though, you can move the title of the exhibition to the first position instead. For instance:

William Blake: The artist [Exhibition]. (2019–2020). Tate Britain, London, United Kingdom. https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/william-blake-artist

As usual with APA style, references are formatted with a hanging indent for each line after the first. Don’t forget to add this for any exhibitions you reference!

Expert APA Proofreading

Hopefully, you should now feel confident about citing an exhibition using APA referencing. But if you’d like any more help with your academic writing, our expert proofreaders are available. Sign up for a free trial today to find out more.

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