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Assistant Curator of Native Arts Records

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-96

Scope and Contents Note

The Assistant Curator of Native Arts Records, dated 1957 to 1964, is composed almost entirely of correspondence, both to and from Crabtree. The correspondence primarily relates to lectures given by Crabtree to various groups and art objects offered to, and bought by, the Museum. Also included are letters from dealers including Arrowsmith, Tilton, Emmerich, and D’Arcy.


  • Creation: 1957-1964

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

G. Franklin Crabtree was a Museum gallery assistant who designed exhibitions before he became the Assistant Curator of “Native Arts” in 1957. Until that time, no member of the staff had sufficient knowledge to supervise a collection of Native American art. Because of Crabtree’s interest and knowledge, it became possible to make intelligent acquisitions in the field. The Museum Trustees did not intend to build a large collection, but rather hoped to assemble a distinguished, if limited, collection. Crabtree left the Museum in 1964 to deal in Pre-Columbian art. Following this, Ted Coe unofficially took over for Crabtree and the department was renamed “Primitive Art”.


0.4 Linear Feet (In 1 legal document case.)

Language of Materials



The records of the Assistant Director of Native Arts, dated 1957 to 1964, consists primarily of correspondence.


Arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition Note

Transfer; Accession number associated with the collection is 1992-09.

Accruals Note

Additions to the collection are not anticipated.

Finding Aid of the Assistant Curator of Native Arts Records, RG 96
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