Carolyn Russo

Curator, Art Collection and Trophy Collection

  • Aeronautics Department

Carolyn Russo is the curator of the art collection and the trophy collection in her role as a museum specialist.  As the curator for the transformation of the Museum’s art gallery, she is planning the future vision of the gallery and upcoming art exhibitions. With over 30 years of experience at the Museum, Russo is the author of four books: Art of the Airport Tower (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books, 2015), In Plane View: Abstractions of Flight (New York: powerHouse Books, 2007), Artifacts of Flight (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2003), and Women and Flight: Portraits of Contemporary Women Pilots (Boston, New York, London: Bulfinch Press, 1997). 

Art exhibitions Russo curated for the museum include Alan Bean: Painting Apollo, First Artist on Another World exhibition from July 16, 2009 – January 13, 2010, Aircraft: The Jet as Art by Jeffrey Milstein from November 25, 2011 – November 25, 2012, Searching for Goldilocks by Angela Palmer from July 26, 2013 – December 1, 2013, co-curator for High Art: A Decade of Collecting from July 26, 2013 – December 1, 2013, and the Great Picture from April 22, 2014 – November 2014. 

Russo also served as the photographer and curator of the exhibitions Art of the Airport Tower (on tour from November 2015 – to present), In Plane View: Abstractions of Flight with Anne Collins Goodyear (on tour from 2009 to 2015), and Women and Flight: Portraits of Contemporary Women Pilots, a widely circulated seven-year Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service traveling exhibition. 

Russo is a 2019 recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Research Residency and a 2016 recipient of the 9th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards for Women Photographers.  Photographs from Art of the Airport Tower received international photography awards and the book received second place in the 2016 American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Publications Design Competition. In Plane View: Abstractions of Flight was awarded second prize in the 2008 AAM Publications Design Competition and Artifacts of Flight received awards in 2004 from the American Institute of Graphic Arts 50 Books/50 Covers Competition and the AAM Publications Design Competition.

Russo was invited to Finland by the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki on the State Department Speaker Program in 2009, was an exhibitor at the International Photography Festival in Lishui, China, in 2011, and has participated in artist-in-residencies programs in Finland, Iceland, and Scotland. A graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA, Russo holds a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in photography and is a graduate student in the art history program at American University in Washington, D.C.

Contact Information