• September 13, 2018–March 4, 2019

The Art and Influence of Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs

DuSable Museum of African American History

740 East 56th Place, Chicago, Illinois 60637

1997.10.8 %282%29

Margaret T. Burroughs, Untitled, 1962. Pottery. Courtesy of Eric Toller and the DuSable Museum of African American History. 


Influential Chicago artist and cultural leader Margaret Burroughs co-founded the DuSable Museum in 1961 and was instrumental in creating the South Side Community Art Center in 1940. The Art and Influence of Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs explores the ways in which artists, institutions, and individuals collect, shape, and embody history by focusing on Burroughs’ legacy as an artist, writer, and institution-builder. While concentrating on what individuals and arbiters of history choose to publicly and privately preserve, The Art and Influence of Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs gives a nuanced illustration of how Dr. Burroughs influenced artistic production, collection-building, community identity, and cultural awareness within and beyond Chicago's South Side between 1960 and 1980.

This exhibition shows the depth and breadth of Dr. Burroughs' impact by turning a lens onto the entirety of her life's work, inside and outside of the studio, and the ways in which that work has been preserved or carried forward through individuals as well as the collections of the DuSable Museum of African American History, South Side Community Art Center, and other area institutions. The Art and Influence of Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs seeks to give an understanding of Dr. Burroughs’ ethos, the spaces she helped to nurture, the bridges she built globally, her aesthetic interests, and the local climate that she operated within while also celebrating how her work continues to influence cultural thought and artistic practice in the present.

The Art and Influence of Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs is presented in partnership with the Smart Museum of Art as part of South Side Stories and presented concurrently with the Smart’s exhibition The Time is Now! Art Worlds of Chicago’s South Side, 1960–1980.