How To Read A Museum Label
To get the most information out of each Web page with an image, the viewer should not
forget to read the label under the image. This label contains information often included on
labels on art work on museum walls. Although a label has minimum information, it contains
some important facts about the art work.
Portrait of Isaac V.W. Dutcher, Quincy, Illinois,
oil paint on ivory, 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches
Illinois State museum collection
Illinois State Museum Society purchase
1. Name of artist
(life dates if available)
2. Title of work, date
3. medium, size
4. current owner or copyright holder of the
5. how the museum got the object
Sometimes some of this information is unknown or unavailable.
Folk artists did not always sign their work or become well known enough for
their style to be recognizable.
In the nineteenth century, some birth and death records were not always kept
or were lost.
Many works are not dated; look at other dated works of the artist, if they exist.
The Illinois State Museum Collection is the home of all of the artworks in the
Museumlink Art Modules except when otherwise stated, such as all the Lerner pho-
Educational Opportunities with Museum Labels
Questions for Discussion and Research:
using reference sources; some questions may
not have verifiable answers yet.
Where did the artist learn to paint?
Where did the artist live (in Illinois)?
Who was Mr. Dutcher?
How old was he?