The 93-year-old founder of America's foremost museum of African American history has died in her Chicago home, surrounded by her family.
Margaret Burroughs, an artist, art historian, teacher (she taught art at Dusable high for 20 years) and longtime Chicago Park District commissioner, co-founded with her husband, the late Charles Burroughs, the nationally recognized DuSable Museum of African American History in the living room of their South Side home almost 50 years ago. She served as the museum's executive director for a decade, until it was relocated to Washington Park.
Today, the museum is an internationally recognized resource for African American art and stands as both the oldest and largest collection of African American cultural artifacts in the country housing a permanent collection of more than fity thousand artifacts, artworks and books. DuSable Museum also hosts various educational programs and is one of the only independent institutions of its kind in the country.
Mrs. Burroughs helped shape some of Chicago's most lasting institutions including the South Side Community Art Center started by twenty-two year old Burroughs and several artists and art supporters. This community organization served as a gallery and workshop studio for artists and students. Burroughs continued to serve on the board of the Center, which remains active more than sixty years after its formation.
In addition to her work with the museum, Burroughs wrote children's books, poetry, and created sculpture and paintings. She was most well-known as a printmaker who created linoleum block images that featured images relevant to the African-American culture and experience.
Mrs. Burroughs legacy reaches across the spectrum, and is a distinctive contribution to black culture.
“Every individual wants to leave a legacy; to be remembered for something positive they have done for their community,” Mrs. Burroughs once told Ebony magazine. “Long after I’m dead and gone, the DuSable Museum will still be here.”
Thank you Dr. Burroughs for creating, cherishing and preserving our art and history.