DuSable Museum founder left lasting legacy

November 22, 2010

by Natalie Moore

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Margaret Burroughs in 1971 (Getty Images/Robert Abbott Sengstacke)

Updated: 1:57pm: The founder of Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African-American History has died at the age of 93. Margaret Burroughs believed in public accessibility of art.

Up until a month ago Burroughs went bowling every Friday night. The artist often carried a roll of her prints under her arm and gave them out freely. Burroughs gave advice to aspiring writers – young and old.
 
"Her hallmark to me was her accessibility," said Carol Adams, who currently runs DuSable Museum – the first black history museum of its kind in the U.S.
 
Burroughs founded the museum in 1961 when weekly salon-style gatherings grew too large for her home. Artists like Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Margaret Walker and Paul Robeson attended. She was an institution builder. If I could summarize her, I’d say that she was the exemplar of the power of one," Adams said.
 
Burroughs also founded the South Side Community Arts Center. It’s still around after 70 years.