Art of the Airport Tower.

Author:Jagareski, Rachel
Position:Book review

Carolyn Russo; ART OF THE AIRPORT TOWER; Smithsonian Books (Nonfiction: Photography) 45.00 ISBN: 9781588345080

Byline: Rachel Jagareski

Devotees of art photography and aviation history alike will savor this unusual and well-researched book.

A striking photo of Edinburgh Airport's iconic traffic control tower, with its sweeping lines and skin of diamond-shaped tiles, marks the grand entrance of Carolyn J. Russo's Art of the Airport Tower. The book is published in conjunction with a Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) exhibition opening this November of Russo's photographs of over eighty examples from around the world. The project took nine years, involving a great deal of globe-trotting and permissions from security-conscious airport managers, not normally asked to provide access to civilians scurrying around their control centers and tarmacs.

Russo leads off with images of contemporary towers and notes in her preface that she intended to make a portrait of each structure; sometimes leaning towards abstractions of shape and the interplay of lights, shadows, and textures; and other times capturing the anthropomorphism or cultural symbolism of each subject. There is the dynamism of Abu Dhabi's graceful tower, like "a flowing robe rising up from the desert," and the elegance of London Heathrow Airport's tower capped with "an English...

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