|Tuskegee Institute Collection
MSU Museum has a small collection of items made by students at The Tuskegee Normal and
Industrial Institute, one of more than a hundred "historically black colleges and universities" founded after the
emancipation and Civil War. The collection includes several mats, a picture frame, a hat and a pair of shoes all
made from woven corn husk, a splint basket, and pine needle basket and a chair with a braided corn husk seat.
Students at Tuskegee regularly made items for sale to supplement their incomes. The items in the collection were
made around 1910.
The Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, was founded in a one-room shack in Tuskegee, Alabama on July 4, 1881.
Lewis Adams, a former enslaved tinsmith and community leader played a major role in organizing the school for
African-American students. The Institute was designed to provide academic courses in combination with an industrial
and vocational curriculum that included agricultural and trades programs for boys, and home economics study for girls.
Booker T. Washington was the first teacher hired at Tuskegee Institute and became president of the Institute.
In 1985, the Institute became Tuskegee University.
This collection is part of the Michigan State University Museum's African, African-American, and African Diaspora Art and
Cultural History Collections.
African and African-America Diasporic Collections
We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery, October 2006 - March 4, 2007,
---compiled by Lynne Swanson and Marsha MacDowell
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