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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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!
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