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Russell Flinchum, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Industrial Design, Art Historian


Russell Flinchum is a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and took his B.A. in English and M.A. in Art History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He moved to New York in 1985 to attend The Graduate School of The City University of New York, receiving his Ph.D. in Art History in 1998.

In 1990, Flinchum became the first Peter Krueger/Christie’s Fellow at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. In 1992, he was named Guest Curator for the exhibition Henry Dreyfuss: Directing Design. The exhibition, which opened in March 1997, received enthusiastic reviews and a number of important awards, as did the accompanying book, Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Designer: The Man in the Brown Suit.

In 1999, Flinchum became the Archivist of the Century Association Archives Foundation, where he oversaw work on the historical records of this important cultural institution for fifteen years. In 2001, with Shoji Sadao, he curated the exhibition “Buckminster Fuller/Shoji Sadao” for the Century, which traveled to Milton Academy and Stanford University. American Design, his most recent book, was published by The Museum of Modern Art and 5 Continents in 2008. He joined the faculty of the College of Design in December 2013.

Flinchum currently teaches History of Industrial Design, History of Art and Design, Design History for Engineers and Scientists, and (in collaboration with Dr. Deborah Littlejohn) History of Graphic Design. He serves as the Chair of the University Advisory Committee on Copyright and on the Board of the Friends of the Gregg Museum of Art & Design. He is a member of the College Art Association and SECAC, where he has presented annually since joining the faculty. He continues his research into the industrial design firm of Henry Dreyfuss and is at work on a history of Bell Telephone’s domestic equipment from its founding to divestiture in 1984 with his co-author, Ralph O. Meyer, PhD. Flinchum is a representative of the College on the University’s Faculty Senate and is the head of the College of Design’s own Faculty Senate, on which he has served since joining the University.