Founders Hall – Front Lobby
The mosaic portraits found on the upper walls were created by artist Thomas Miller to celebrate the educators, community leaders and artists who helped Dr. Margaret Burroughs and her husband Charles establish the Museum in 1961. Mr. Miller also created the larger mixed media murals commemorating Harold Washington, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable and The City of Chicago.
DuSable Bust and Trading Post Replica
Created by sculptor Marion Perkins this bust celebrates the iconic image of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable. Located behind the bust is a historic summery about the first non-Native American settler and father of the place known as Es-chi-ka-gou (Chicago).
3rd STOP – AMES AUDITORIUM
The centerpiece of the Ames Auditorium is the “Freedom Now” mural, created in 1965 by Robert W. Ames. This profile-relief wooden mural, chronicles the history of Africans arriving to North America in 1619 and their evolution of becoming “African Americans”. The mural begins this journey by observing various complex social structures and diverse aspects of life on the African continent prior to European colonization. The mural also highlights the “Middle Passage” and the African presence in building the American landscape through labor, patriotism, and social activism, and features the portraits of five heroic and influential African Americans. The mural is a memorial to five Americans that paid the ultimate price for their belief in democracy and “American Ideals”
Portraits of Black Americans in Illinois
The paintings located in the Ames Auditorium are part of 23 paintings commissioned by the State of Illinois for the 1963 Centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation to illustrate African American history as it related to Illinois.
Representing only a small portion of DuSable Museum’s collection of African art and artifacts, these masks, utilitarian objects, textiles and sculptures come from the five regions of Africa. They represent many ethnic groups, their history and traditions, reaffirming that Africa is a vast and intriguing continent.
5th STOP – MAIN GALLERY
Red, White Blue & Black:
A History of African Americans in the Armed Forces
The call to serve one’s country has always been the highest claim to citizenship and patriotic responsibility. However, for over 14 million Black men and women their deeds and service have gone unnoticed. Red, White, Blue & Black uses uniforms, photos and artifacts from DuSable Museum’s collection. This exhibit does not glorify war, but it honors those who have fought this country’s external enemies while having to contend with the internal enemy of racism and inequality.
A Slow Walk to Greatness: The Harold Washington Story
In 1993, the DuSable Museum expanded its facility with the addition of a new wing named after the 42nd mayor of Chicago – Harold Lee Washington. 2008 marks the 25th anniversary of his election to that office. It is one of Chicago’s momentous events. Using items from the Museum’s permanent collection, A Slow Walk to Greatness: The Harold Washington Story incorporates photos, artifacts, documents, reproductions, archival audio and video footage to celebrate the man and tell his story.
LOWER LEVEL GALLERY
Charles Smith: Homecoming
The exhibition Charles Smith: Homecoming was inspired by a visit from Dr. Smith the founder and director of the African American Heritage Museum and Black Veterans Archive.
Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight
Black Wings charts the groundbreaking, history-making, and patriotic paths of some very valiant men and women. This group of aviators is extraordinary; from Bessie Coleman securing a pilot’s license, through the Tuskegee Airmen and the integration of our armed forces, to Guy Bluford in space, the exhibition and its related content reveal a moving adventure and spirit of path finding.
FINAL STOP – THE TRADING POST
DuSable Museum’s Store and Gift Shop
Keep your DuSable Museum experience memorable! Visit our gift shop located near the lobby.