Skip to main content

Office of the Assistant Director Records

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-99

Scope and Contents Note

The Office of the Assistant Director Records, dated 1948 to 1983, consists of correspondence, photographs, grant applications, loan forms, reports, journal articles, exhibition catalogs, and other miscellaneous materials. The records span the administrations of Laurence Sickman (1946-1953), Ralph Coe (1965-1977), and Jay Gates (1981-1983). The bulk of the materials, however, are from Coe’s tenure as Assistant Director.


  • Creation: 1948-1983

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

The Office of the Vice-Director, which would later become the Office of the Assistant Director, was created in 1946. Laurence Sickman was the first person appointed to this position. Throughout his tenure in office, Sickman continued as curator of the Asian art collection. He remained Vice-Director until 1953, when he was promoted to Director. No one else held the position until 1965 when it was resurrected as the Office of the Assistant Director. Ralph T. Coe, who was the Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the time, and would remain as such, was appointed to this post. When Coe was promoted to Director in 1977, the position was once again left vacant for several years. In 1981, Jay Gates joined the staff as the new Assistant Director and Curator of American Art. He left the Museum in 1983 and the position was never revived.


6 Linear Feet (In 6 record center cartons.)

Language of Materials



The records of the Assistant Director are dated 1948 to 1983 and consist primarily of correspondence, photographs, grant applications, loan forms, journal articles, exhibition catalogs, reports, and other miscellaneous materials.

Immediate Source of Acquisition Note

Transfer; accession number associated with this collection is 1992-14.

Accruals Note

Additions to the collection are not anticipated.

Related Materials Note

Laurence Sickman Papers (MSS 001); Department of Asian Art Records (RG 02); Department of European Art Records (RG 03); Office of the Director Records (RG 01/01); Sacred Circles Exhibition Records (RG 24/05).

Finding Aid of the Office of the Assistant Director Records, RG 99
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