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The DuSable Museum
Chicago’s DuSable Museum was chartered on this date in 1961. The Museum is named for Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, an African Haitian who in 1779 established the trading post and permanent settlement which would become known as Chicago.
It was founded by teacher and art historian Dr. Margaret Burroughs and other leading Chicago citizens. It was created to preserve and interpret the experiences and achievements of people of African descent. Its mission is to collect, document, preserve, and study the history and culture of Africans and African Americans. Its diverse holdings number more than 15,000 pieces and include paintings, sculpture, print works, and historical documents and memorabilia. The DuSable Museum is one of the few independent institutions of its kind in the United States.
The museum originally opened as the Ebony Museum, but it became so popular it had to relocate, and moved to its current location in the historic Hyde Park area of Chicago at 740 East 56th Place in Washington Park.
In 1993 the $3.5 million completion of the Harold Washington Wing was celebrated. (Harold Washington, a lawyer and politician, became the first African American mayor of Chicago, serving from 1983 until his death in 1987.) This addition features additional gallery space, an expanded gift shop, and a 466-seat auditorium.
Special exhibitions, workshops, and lectures for youth and adults highlight works by specific artists, historical events, or collections on loan to the museum. Theatre, dance, and music performances are offered in its auditorium theater, along with classes in mask making, dance, drama, percussion, and painting.
The African American Desk Reference
Schomburg Center for research in Black Culture
Copyright 1999 The Stonesong Press Inc. and
The New York Public Library, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pub.