Artist, educator and institution-builder Margaret Burroughs was born on November 1, 1917 in Saint Rose, Louisiana. Always passionate about learning, Margaret moved north to Chicago in order to earn her Elementary Teacher's Certificate, which she received in 1937 from Chicago Normal College. She continued her education first at Chicago Teachers College, and later, at the Art Institute of Chicago, from which she earned her B.A. in Art Education in 1946 and her M.A. in 1948.
Dr. Margaret Burroughs made the first of her many contributions to African American arts and culture when she founded--at age 22--the South Side Community Art Center, a community organization that serves as a gallery and workshop studio for artists and students. Mrs. Burroughs continued to serve on the Board of Directors for the Center, which remained active more than sixty years after its formation.
During the mid-1950s Margaret Burroughs married Charles Burroughs, poet and founder of the Associated Negro Press. His organization, modeled on the Associated Press, played an important role in the coordination of African American newspapers throughout the United States. After extended travels together, the Burroughs' made the most well-known contribution to African American posterity in 1961 when they founded the DuSable Museum of African American History on the ground floor of their Chicago home. The museum, which has since moved to its own buildings in Chicago's Washington Park, has become an internationally recognized resource for African American art. DuSable Museum also hosts various educational programs and houses a permanent collection of more than thirteen thousand artifacts, artworks and books.
Although Margaret Burroughs worked in sculpture, painting, and many other artforms throughout her career, it was her exceptional skill as a printmaker that earned her a place within the history of art. For many years she worked with linoleum block prints to create images evocative of African American culture. Margaret Burroughs' work was featured in exclusive shows at the Corcoran Art Galleries in Washington D.C. and at the Studio Museum in New York. She served as art director for the Negro Hall of Fame and illustrated many books including What Shall I Tell My Children Who are Black?(1968). Mrs. Burroughs also published several volumes of her own poems, illustrated a number of children's books, and exhibited her own artwork all over the world. In 1975 she received the President's Humanitarian Award and in 1977 was distinguished as one of Chicago's Most Influential Women by the Chicago Defender. February 1, 1986 was proclaimed "Dr. Margaret Burroughs Day" in Chicago by late Mayor Harold Washington.
Burroughs passed away on November 21, 2010 at age 93.
James R. Doolittle, Jr. Elementary School
William W. Carter Elementary School
Englewood High School
Chicago State University
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Teachers College, Columbia University
Illinois State University
If first you don't succeed, try, try again.
Printmaker and museum director Margaret Burroughs (1917 - 2010 ) was a prominent artist who helped establish Chicago's South Side Community Arts Center and co-founded the DuSable Museum of African American History.
DuSable Museum of African American History
Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art
South Side Community Art Center
DuSable High School
Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Margaret Burroughs Interview
Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Margaret Burroughs lists her favorites
Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Margaret Burroughs recalls her family background and early childhood
Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Margaret Burroughs shares memories of growing up during the Depression
Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Margaret Burroughs remembers her childhood personality and aspirations
Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Margaret Burroughs recounts her high school aspirations
Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Margaret Burroughs remembers those who encouraged her artistic pursuits
Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Margaret Burroughs details her college experiences
Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Margaret Burroughs talks about how she inspires students to achieve
Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Margaret Burroughs discusses the founding of the South Side Community Arts Center
Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Interviewer reveals to Margaret Burroughs her motive for the HistoryMakers project
Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Margaret Burroughs compares Chicago's arts scene to that of New York's Harlem Renaissance
Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Margaret Burroughs discusses her medium in the context of her teaching
Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Margaret Burroughs discusses her marriages, children and grandchildren
Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Margaret Burroughs reveals the connection between her teaching and her artwork
Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Margaret Burroughs explains her notion of herself as a "People's Painter"
Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Margaret Burroughs talks about concept behind her children's story, 'Jasper, the Drummin' Boy'
Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Margaret Burroughs talks about her affiliation with Paul Robeson and the McCarthy Era
Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Margaret Burroughs explains the Mexico connection, its sphere of influence, and her community of comtemporary artists.
Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Margaret Burroughs recalls negotiating the sales of a few of her paintings
Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Margaret Burroughs discusses her late husband, Charlie Burroughs
Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Margaret Burroughs discusses the precurser to the DuSable Museum
Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Margaret Burroughs summarizes the origin of the DuSable Museum from its earliest years
Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Margaret Burroughs details how she obtained funding to outfit the DuSable Museum of African American History
Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Margaret Burroughs discusses transitions in Chicago's black arts community
Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Margaret Burroughs envisions a future for the DuSable Museum
Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Margaret Burroughs shares her experiences traveling in Africa
Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Margaret Burroughs discusses her views on the African Diaspora
Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Margaret Burroughs talks about influential persons in her life
Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Margaret Burroughs talks about her legacy and other African American artists who were her contemporaries
Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Margaret Burroughs explains her philosophy of life, art, creativity, and teaching
Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Margaret Burroughs comments on how she would like to be remembered