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Dr. Margret Burroughs

Updated: Mar 5, 2022

Remembering Our Elders- Highlights of the life of Dr. Margaret Burroughs

Artist, author, teacher, founder, civic leader, all apply to the multi-faceted Margaret

Burroughs. Victoria Margaret Taylor was born in a farm town on the Mississippi

River. The family took a train north to Chicago when she was 5 years old.

In Chicago, the Taylor home was really a coach house. She married Charles Gordon

Burroughs in 1949. Their marriage lasted over 40 years.

Margaret Burroughs holds a master’s degree from the Art Institute of Chicago as well

as completing graduate work at Columbia University. She was a professor of

Humanities at Kennedy- King College for 10 years until retiring in 1979. She also

worked as a Chicago public school teacher for over 27 years. The former school

teacher founded a cultural mecca- the Southside Community Art Center in 1941.

She also organized a national conference of black artists in 1959 and wrote numerous

articles in professional art and education journals. In 1959 she

founded the Lake Meadows Art Fair. Burroughs published several volumes of her

poems, illustrated numerous children’s books and exhibited her artwork all over the

world. Her artwork has been on special exhibit at the famous Corcoran Gallery and is

collected worldwide. Dr. Burroughs believed, “Art breaks down barriers, racial and


Mrs. Burroughs received many awards and honors from major organizations and

universities. Ms. Burroughs became one of the first African American members of the

Chicago’s Fine Arts Council. Burroughs with her husband Charles, co-founded the

DuSable Museum of African American History in her home. Later, Burroughs gained

permission from the Chicago Park District permission to use an old unused

Washington Park administration building. The DuSable Museum is one of the oldest

African American museums in America.

In 1981 she was honored as a Senior Citizen of the Year by the Chicago Park District.

Dr. Burroughs’ served as a commissioner of the Park District until

her term ended in 2008. She made her transition on November 21, 2010 leaving a

legacy of art, activism, education and beauty for generations to come.


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