Margaret Burroughs, Founder of African American Museum, Dies

Sunday, Nov 21, 2010  |  Updated 3:16 PM CDT
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Margaret Burroughs, Founder of African American Museum, Dies

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Portrait of artist and educator Dr. Margaret Burroughs during an arts conference at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, 1971. Active in the Chicago arts community, Dr. Burroughs founded the South Side Community Arts Center in 1941, and later co-founded the DuSable Museum of African American History. She died Sunday at age 93.

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The 93-year-old founder of America's foremost museum of African American history has died in her Chicago home, surrounded by her family, the Sun-Times reported.

Margaret Burroughs was one of nine principal founders of the DuSable Museum of African American History. The museum was founded in 1961, and Burroughs operated it out of their home and served as its executive director for a decade, until it was relocated to Washington Park.

Today, the museum stands as both the oldest and largest collection of African American cultural artifacts in the country.

Those who knew Margaret Burroughs were saddened by her loss.

"Words cannot express what I feel on the passing of Dr. Margaret Burroughs,” U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush said. “She was a keeper of history, a historian for a lost and often disregarded people, and a champion for those whose voices often go unheard."

"She will be sorely missed, but her work lives on," he said.

In addition to her work with the museum, Burroughs wrote children's books, poetry, and created sculpture and paintings. She was a well-known printmaker who created images that touched on the African-American experience.

A public memorial will be held after the holidays, the paper reported.

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