The DuSable Museum of African American History Obtains Smithsonian Affiliation Status

By May 18, 2016 News

The DuSable Museum of African American History has been granted Smithsonian Affiliation status by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The distinction signals the beginning of a long-term collaborative partnership between the DuSable and the world’s largest museum and research complex.

The DuSable, established in 1961, is only the second arts, culture and education facility in Chicago to receive Smithsonian Affiliate status; the other is Adler Planetarium. The Smithsonian established Affiliations in 1996 to increase discovery and promote lifelong learners by bringing the Smithsonian Institution to local communities. There are more than 200 Smithsonian Affiliate organizations in more than 46 states, Puerto Rico and Panama. Now, with DuSable, there are six Affiliates in Illinois.

The partnership permits DuSable to borrow Smithsonian artifacts and access traveling exhibits. Similarly, the Smithsonian will gain access to rarely seen paintings, sculptures and more that comprise DuSable’s collections.

“With Affiliate status, the DuSable will bring the Smithsonian to the community and the DuSable to the world,” said DuSable President and CEO Perri Irmer. “The partnership will also expose the museum’s Masterworks Collection to a broader audience by giving the work and the artists international exposure.”

The DuSable debuted its new Masterworks Gallery in February. The museum increased its membership by 48 percent during a recent membership drive. As a Smithsonian Affiliate, the DuSable may offer Smithsonian membership at a discount to its members. “Now members of the DuSable Museum will gain access to many Smithsonian-affiliated museums across the country,” Irmer said.

Smithsonian Affiliate organizations work together to preserve heritage, expand knowledge and inspire learning. They vary from science centers, art museums, historical societies, universities, children’s museums, archives and libraries, and aquaria.

As a Smithsonian Affiliate, the DuSable may participate in the annual Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference in Washington. Affiliates are also provided opportunities for more in-depth collaboration with Smithsonian museums and participation in Smithsonian grant-funded educational initiatives.

About Smithsonian Affiliations

Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. Affiliations share exhibits and collections, collaborate on important research projects, and develop innovative educational strategies at local and national levels.

More information about Smithsonian Affiliations is available at