Margaret Burroughs, co-founder of the DuSable Museum of African-American History, South Side Community Art Center and Lake Meadows Art Fair, died Sunday in Chicago. She was 95. The St. Rose, La., native came to Chicago with her parents when she was 5 years old. She studied teaching and art at Chicago State University and the Art Institute of Illinois. She also attended Columbia University in New York and the Institute of Painting and Sculpture in Mexico City. Years later, Lewis University in Illinois gave her an honorary doctorate. Burroughs, most recently the Chicago Park District Commissioner, taught art for 27 years at DuSable High School and for 10 years at Kennedy-King College.
She started the DuSable Museum in her home after a discussion with her students about the lack of a museum dedicated to African-American art in the city. A quarter century after the museum was founded, Mayor Harold Washington proclaimed Feb. 1, 1986, as "Dr. Margaret Burroughs Day." In separate statements, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush and the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. lauded Burroughs for her service. "Michelle and I are saddened by the passing of Dr. Margaret Burroughs, who was widely admired for her contributions to American culture as an esteemed artist, historian, educator, and mentor,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. She is survived by her son Paul, four grandsons and three nieces. A public memorial is pending.
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