Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Visual arts

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Image caption[edit]

Here are two different formats for image captions,[1] namely:

1. Lucien Pissarro Reading by J.B. Manson
2. J.B. Manson, Lucien Pissarro Reading

I see 2 is the currently recommended means, but it seems to me to be less intuitive than 1. There is also the ready possibility of confusion with 2 between the name of the artist and the title of the painting. I note that 1 is used in FAs Restoration of the Sistine Chapel frescoes and Salvador Dalí, for example. Tyrenius (talk) 20:54, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

(Lost reply) That bit predates me, but I hadn't taken it to mandate a sequence, which I'm not sure we should do. Personally I more often use 2 (and rarely bold the name), but it all depends on context - sometimes the artist is the more imprtant point, sometimes the subject. Glad to see someone's looking anyway! Please chip in. Johnbod (talk) 21:12, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I usually use 2. Actually I've seen 1 used on Wikipedia a lot, but I think 2 is used most often in print and catalogs. A long time ago a dealer (of all people) said to me - artists name always comes first. I like 2 because it usually is a succinct format. Its good to dialog though, I agree with the notion of bold sometimes, sometimes not. Modernist (talk) 21:59, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Industry standard is a good starting point. I think user-friendliness should be the bottom line. A provisional solution would be to use either, based on who starts the article or what is already on the page. Mixing them in the same article is not desirable. Not sure I see any need for bold. It is not recommended for article text anyway outside the mention of the subject in the lead section. It usually occurs when the article subject is wikilinked within the article, and hence redundant. Tyrenius (talk) 00:13, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Industry standard with or without bold, although wikifying the artist name in blue is sometimes called for, and since most editors aren't privy to industry standard, user-friendliness usually gets the point across... Sometimes I change captions to industry standard and I think consistency within articles makes sense. Modernist (talk) 01:22, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree, generally - I always link the artist, unless there are several by the same (or its his article of course), which I think gives enough emphasis. I like, where possible, to say something about the work, so often end up with sentences like " bla bla bla in Foo by Fred". Once you start that things can be in any order. I don't think we should be prescriptive here, though OTBE I agree consistency is good. Johnbod (talk) 01:31, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I've rejigged the section. Thoughts? Also what else should we cover generally? Johnbod (talk) 01:41, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Heavy lifting[edit]

I'm doing some heavy lifting at Western Painting because of the {non-free} tags there and on Self-portrait and History of painting placed by the image hunters....There is a little banter on Talk:Western painting When I finish western painting I'll remove the tags, and start on the other two articles. Any thoughts? Modernist (talk) 01:59, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

  • I see T has stepped in, much better than I could. Is it really the case that there is a policy saying caption text does not count? Personally I think (as you know) galleries are better with longer informative captions & I see no reason at all (rather the reverse) why this should be less privileged. I'll ask him there. I'm copying this to the main Project talk page if that's ok. - let's continue there. Johnbod (talk) 12:30, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Now part of Manual of Style[edit]

To record the matter, the following is copied from the MOS talk, with the old name as linked header:

This has been in Category:Wikipedia style guideline proposals for some time now. It has been worked on by several people at Wikipedia:WikiProject Visual arts since it was begun in 2005 and is now pretty stable. I would like to add it to the "official" list, and will do so if no one objects. Of course improvements, suggestions or comments on specific points are welcome - please use the talk page there. Johnbod (talk) 13:50, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Now done - page is now at Wikipedia:Manual of Style (visual arts), aka WP:VAMOS. Johnbod (talk) 15:46, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

MoS naming style[edit]

There is currently an ongoing discussion about the future of this and others MoS naming style. Please consider the issues raised in the discussion and vote if you wish GnevinAWB (talk) 20:58, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

RFC which could affect this MOS[edit]

It has been proposed this MOS be moved to Wikipedia:Subject style guide . Please comment at the RFC GnevinAWB (talk) 20:54, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Italic titles[edit]

The text says The title of a work of art is italicised in text, but not in the article title itself. But Wikipedia:Article_titles#Italics_and_other_formatting says Use italics when italics would be used in running text. For example: Taxonomic names, names of ships, titles of books, films, and other creative works, and foreign phrases are italicized both in ordinary text and in article titles. There seems to have been a major discussion about this: a footnote adds:

This was decided during a July–September 2010 poll on the article talk page. See Wikipedia talk:Article titles#Wikipedia:Requests for comment:Use of italics in article titles as well as the discussions that led up to the poll at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive 116#Italicised article titles and Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive 116#Request for comment: Use of italics in article names

So as that page is a Policy, and Policy trumps Guidelines, I suggest that this page should be updated to reflect that change. PamD (talk) 17:03, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

RFC: restructuring of the Manual of Style[edit]

Editors may be interested in this RFC, along with the discussion of its implementation:

Should all subsidiary pages of the Manual of Style be made subpages of WP:MOS?

It's big; and it promises huge improvements. Great if everyone can be involved. NoeticaTea? 00:49, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Invite for overlinking?[edit]

What is the rationale for wikilinking particular dates in an article? WP:OVERLINK says don't. I think I'll WP:BB and delete the links. --S. Rich (talk) 02:13, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Article titles for multiple untitled artworks[edit]

There's currently a lengthy and contentious discussion at Talk:Arts on the Line over the use of non-free images which hasn't resulted in much consensus. However, it has emerged that if individual artworks are notable enough to have their own pages then fair use images are allowed on the individual pages. Many of the artworks have been given sufficient attention to justify individual articles. However, a problem then emerges with naming. Take, for example, Richard Fleischner's untitled work at Alewife station. Untitled (Richard Fleischner) or Untitled (Fleischner) are insufficient because Fleischner has had at least three major untitled works which may be sufficiently notable for their own articles. Untitled (Alewife station) or similar is not viable because there are no less than four untitled artworks at the station which I plan to have articles about. For the time being I'm working with the clunky Untitled (Richard Fleischner artwork at Alewife station). I would very much appreciate suggestions of a better title to move the article to. Pi.1415926535 (talk) 20:54, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

A possible alternate title I'm considering is Untitled (1985 Fleischner sculpture). Pi.1415926535 (talk) 21:09, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Doesn't he even give them numbers like Henry Moore? How tiresome of him. Are they single works or in editions? Otherwise, name, date, anything that works. If there are 4 at the station it might be best to do one article on the group. Johnbod (talk) 01:37, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, he gives names to some works but no title whatsoever to others. Due to disagreement over use of non-free images it's probably best to have the notable artworks separate for now. Pi.1415926535 (talk) 03:24, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
If the artwork is notable, i.e. it gets indepth coverage at multiple reliable secondary sources they must have some way of identifying it. That's frequently the best place to start for finding a title Nil Einne (talk) 17:44, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Source material from the time of its construction simply omitted text from the title field of a pamphlet; modern sources simply call it "Untitled". For whatever reason, about a quarter of the works constructed for the project had no title. Pi.1415926535 (talk) 17:56, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

GLAM-Wiki Section[edit]

I am interested in creating manuals of style for institutional pages, library entries, and archival/museum collections entries to aid the GLAM-Wiki initiative. Perhaps they could even be written under a section title GLAM-Wiki. Or do people think that it would be better if another article titled something like Wikipedia:Manual of Style/GLAM was created to house these kinds of GLAM-specific templates, and that could be referred to in GLAM learning resources. OR drohowa (talk) 16:46, 24 September 2013 (UTC) Also continue this conversation at the bottom of the Wikipedia talk:GLAM page.

The closest that we have now is Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Visual_arts#Museums_and_collections; perhaps that could be expanded to something like a 'Describing institutions' section to parallel the 'Describing works' one. Or we could fork to a more specialized Wikipedia:Manual of Style/GLAM sooner or later.--Pharos (talk) 01:27, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Might as well do it here for now, at least for the objects. Why not set up a sub-page for a draft. Templates and MOS are generally different things though. Johnbod (talk) 01:49, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
This conversation is being continued at Wikipedia talk:GLAM#GLAM-Wiki Section in Manual of Style? please contribute to discussion there! OR drohowa (talk) 18:48, 27 September 2013 (UTC)


I had just posted this idea and was told of the effort to document source information here.

Would it be helpful to have more info, maybe like a checklist or comparison good/bad table and not reliable sources - linking to places that go into more detail:

  • Museums - good
  • Books - good, unless self-published or use Wikipedia as a source
  • Auction houses, like Christie's, Sotheby's - ok
  • Journals and magazines
    • Print - good
    • Online with an editorial staff or function - good
    • Online without an editorial staff (no tabs or information that mentions staff / editorial staff) - not good
  • Web sites
    • Galleries - generally don't use (sales / promotion / POV issues), unless the gallery is with a museum
    • Blogs - not generally good, exceptions may be news source blogs
    • no social media sites (facebook, linkedin, etc.), personal web sites, genealogy
    • Art based web sites - AskArt, Mutualart, etc. -- this would be helpful to get clarification
  • Primary sources - secondary is preferred, only use if from a WP:Reliable source and there's no extrapolation of the data
  • Tertiary sources - secondary is preferred, some tertiary sources, such as with gravestone / cemetary data, like Find a Grave, may be used if taking the raw information: dates of birth, death, etc.???
And have a bibliography of particularly good sites and books, starting with Women artists article and other good sources. Plus, a section that links to the articles about Reliable sources, verifiabilty, Original research, etc.
I'm not sure about
  • AskArt - can we use anything from here (Quick Facts, artwork), I've seen different takes on this
  • Mutual Art - same as Ask Art
  • Artnet -
  • Contemporary Art Daily, which looks like a blog ("Contemporary Art Group is the organization that produces Contemporary Art Daily, Contemporary Art Venues and Contemporary Art Quarterly.")
If you like that idea, I would be happy to start a draft on my user page. Do you think that would that be helpful?--CaroleHenson (talk) 19:58, 11 January 2014 (UTC)