Carolyn is passionate about her day job, contemporary photography, art, designs in nature and the material world, cultures, and most of all, her two children.


Carolyn Russo is a recent recipient of the 9th Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers.  She is a museum specialist and curator of art for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. As a photographer Russo develops photography books and exhibitions. For her most recent book and exhibition Art of the Airport Tower, she traveled to twenty-two countries to explore and photograph over 85 contemporary and historical air traffic control towers. Her photographs bring a heightened awareness to the simple beauty of these architectural structures, the technological changes, and a call for their preservation. As a museum specialist and art curator Carolyn acquires art and curates art exhibitions for the museum. She is also the curator of the museum’s trophy collection.

She is the author of four books: Art of the Airport Tower (Smithsonian Books, 2015), In Plane View: Abstractions of Flight (powerHouse Books, 2007), Artifacts of Flight (Harry N. Abrams, 2003), and Women and Flight: Portraits of Contemporary Women Pilots (Bulfinch Press, 1997). Her photographs have been widely exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Finland, and China and have appeared in numerous publications including the National Geographic Traveler, Science, Smithsonian, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. She has lectured internationally and was an invited participant on the Embassy Speakers’ Program with the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. Carolyn earned a B.F.A. in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, Massachusetts and an M.A. in art history with a focus on North American art from the American University in Washington, D.C.