Skip to main content

Lindsay Hughes Files

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-92

Scope and Contents Note

The Lindsay Hughes Files, dated 1942 to 1946, contain correspondence and other miscellaneous materials. The collection relates almost entirely to Hughes’s tenure as Acting Curator of Oriental Art, as the department was then known. This material deals with the purchase or potential purchase of Asian art objects. It also includes some material related to her work on behalf of Chinese chidren orphaned by World War II under the auspices of the Chinese Women’s Relief Association of New York. To raise money for the group, Hughes sold Chinese Christmas cards and tea, as well as tickets to benefit lectures given by experts on Chinese culture. Also of note is her correspondence with Chinese art dealer, C.T. Loo (alternate name Qinzhai Lu), for whom she went to work in 1947.


  • Creation: 1942-1946


Restrictions on Access

Open to researchers. Appointments are necessary for the use of manuscript and archival collections.

Conditions Governing Use Note

Notification of intent to publish, quote, or cite archival materials is required. Contact the archives via

Biographical / Historical Note

Ruth Lindsay Hughes was born in Bevier, Missouri on September 8, 1908 and she graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1931. She developed an interest in art from courses taken in college, and, two years later, Lindsay was able to secure a position at the as yet unopened Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. She was initially hired to perform such tasks as sewing, dusting, and polishing however, her industriousness and intelligence eventually convinced Paul Gardner to let her write guide books to some of the rooms, give lectures, write plays for children’s classes, and develop a radio program to dramatize the collection. In 1935, when Laurence Sickman was hired as the Curator of Oriental Art, as the department was then known, Lindsay became his assistant. When Sickman was drafted into the Army during World War II, she took over as Acting Curator. Lindsay resigned from her position at the Gallery in 1946, due to her impending marriage to Frank Cooper. They then moved to New York where Lindsay took a job with the Asian art dealer C. T. Loo whom she had become acquainted with through his connection with the Museum. Due to Cooper’s business interests, they later moved to California and then to Iran, where Lindsay taught English as a second language. The couple returned to Kansas City in 1970 and Lindsay resumed her association with the Museum as Sickman’s assistant. She remained in this position for five years, until Sickman retired. Lindsay Hughes Cooper died on November 16, 1997, at the age of 89.


.40 Linear Feet (In 1 legal document box.)

Language of Materials



The Lindsay Hughes Files, dated 1942 to 1946, contains correspondence and other miscellaneous materials. The collection relates entirely to Hughes’s tenure as Acting Curator of Oriental Art and her work on behalf of the Chinese chidren orphaned by World War II.


Due to the size and nature of the collection, it has not been divided into series. It is arranged alphabetically by correspondent, with folders about Chinese War Orphans placed at the end of the collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition Note

Transfer; accession numbers associated with this collection are 1992-02.

Accruals Note

Additions to the collection are not anticipated.

Related Materials Note

Lindsay Hughes Cooper Collection (MSS 013); Department of Asian Art Records (RG 02).

Finding Aid of the Lindsay Hughes Files, RG 92
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Archives Repository

4525 Oak St.
Kansas City MO 64111 United States