Skip to main content

Department of African Art Records

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-10

Scope and Contents Note

The Department of African Art Records, dated 1999 to 2018, consist of correspondence, reinstallation plans, exhibit planning for Through the Eyes of Picasso (2017-2018), departmental reports, and other miscellaneous materials. When David Binkley, longtime curator of the Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas(AOA), left the museum in 1999, it spurred the decision to split AOA into the Department of African Art and the Department of Native American Art. This collection contains materials which pertain to the Department of African Arts during this period of turnover and afterwards – specifically with the various renewals of African Art spaces including one in 2000/2001, one correalating with the addition of the Bloch Building between 2001 and 2007, and one between 2013 and 2015, undertaken with the assistance of contracted Curator of African Art Nii Quarcoopome. The correspondence in the collection covers various African art collector inquiries, curatorial projects and travels, as well as some department-related programs and events at the museum -- some of which details visits from Dr. Kaywin Feldman (Director of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art) and curator Nii Quarcoopome to the museum in 2001.


  • Creation: 1999-2018

Restrictions on Access

Selected folders and documents in Series III and Series IV are restricted and may only be accessed by staff. Please see the container list for details.

Conditions Governing Use Note

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

Biographical / Historical Note

The Department of African Art was formed when the Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas (AOA) was divided into the Department of African Art and the Department of American Indian Art. That decision was made in 1999 in connection to the departure of David Binkley, Curator of the Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas Art, but not fully enacted until 2001-2002 after he left to become Chief Curator at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art. Curators and curatorial staff through departmental transformations over the years included the following:

David Binkley: Associate Curator (1985-1993); Curator (1993-1999)

Joyce Youmans: Curatorial Assistant (1998-2002); Assistant Curator (2002-2005)

Dr. Elisabeth Cameron: Associate Curator/Department Head (1999 – 2001)

Nii Quarcoopome: Curator of African Art, joint with Detroit Institute of Art (2012 – 2016)

Rachel Kabukala: Department Assistant (2014-2018); Curatorial Assistant (2018-2019)

Suzanne Gott: consultation on a contractual basis (2016-2017)


1.25 Linear Feet (In one record center carton.)

Language of Materials



The Department of African Art records contain correspondence, reports, exhibit and reinstallation planning, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other miscellaneous material. These records document the activities of the department from 1999-2018, both during and after its division from the Department of African, Oceanic, and the Americas (AOA) in the early 2000s with the departure of curator, David Binkely.


This collection is organized into five series: Correspondence, 1999-2004 (Series I); Reinstallation/Exhibtion Files, 2000-2018 (Series II); General/Administrative Files, 1999-2018 (Series III); Object/Accession Files, 2015-2018 (Series IV); Research Files, 2001-2013 (Series V).

Immediate Source of Acquisition Note

Transfer; accession numbers associated with this collection are…

Accruals Note

Additions to this collection are anticipated.

Related Materials Note

Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas Records, RG 11; Office of the Assistant Director Records RG 99, Series II: Ralph T. Coe Files, 1965-1977 (specifically Sub-Series D: Subjects).; Assistant Curator of Native Arts Records RG 96.

Finding Aid of the Department of African Art Records, RG 10
Prepared by Christain Hartman
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