From the book jacket of Art of the Airport Tower:

The transformation of the ordinary into something extraordinary—the reoccurring theme in Carolyn Russo’s work—is at its most striking here in Art of the Airport Tower, a photographic tour of contemporary and historic air traffic control towers that coincides with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum exhibition.

From airport towers throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific, Russo uses more than 100 fine art photographs to depict the towers as both essential aviation artifacts and vessels with a powerful presence.

Accompanying the 85 towers are extended captions that take a look at the architectural design elements, historical background of the airports, and uses of each structure. A foreword by leaders of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) and an introduction by Smithsonian commercial aviation expert F. Robert van der Linden explain the history and importance of airport towers to further contextualize Russo’s work.

Through these stunning photographs, the towers are elevated to monumental abstractions, symbols of cultural expression, and testimonies of technological change, bringing a heightened awareness to the architectural beauty and historical significance of these structures that may someday vanish from the airport landscape. CAROLYN J. RUSSO has worked at the National Air and Space Museum since 1988 as a staff photographer and as a museum specialist in the Aeronautics Division with the National Air and Space Museum art collection. She is the author of Women and Flight: Portraits of Contemporary Women Pilots, Artifacts of Flight, and In Plane View: Abstractions of Flight. Her photographs have been widely exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Finland, and China.

Cover image: Edinburgh Airport, Scotland, United Kingdom     Jacket and book designed by Mine Suda

Smithsonian Books, Washington, D.C. 2015


(These images are not for the media, print usage, or for sale from this website.)  Please see link for media usage and traveling exhibition tour information.


Art of the Airport Tower Smithsonian Books, 2015

Other books by Carolyn Russo

In Plane View: Abstractions of Flight powerHouse Books, 2007

Artifacts of Flight, Abrams 2003

Women and Flight, Portraits of Contemporary Women Pilots Bulfinch Press, 1997


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