Senior Vice President
Expertise: John Russick’s areas of expertise include but are not limited to the following Chicago topics: Architecture; crime; sports; Prohibition; The Great Chicago Fire; music.
Experience: Chicago History Museum Senior Vice President, 2019–present; Vice President for Interpretation & Education, 2015–19; Director of Curatorial Affairs, 2011–15, Senior Curator, 2008–10; Curator, 2003–2008; Exhibition Developer, 1998–2003. Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara, Turkey, Exhibit Developer and Designer. Texas Memorial Museum, Exhibition Developer. Texas State Preservation Board, Exhibits Coordinator. National Museum of American History, Exhibitions Coordinator. Field Museum of Natural History, Exhibition Specialist.
Education: MS, Architectural Studies (Specialization: Historic Preservation), University of Texas at Austin, 1996. BA, History, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, 1987.
John Russick oversees the departments of Exhibitions, Education, Publications, Collections and Curatorial Affairs, Information Technology, and the Research Center on behalf of the Museum. Since arriving in 1998, he has led the development of a host of temporary and permanent exhibitions and a collection of digital experiences for the Museum.
Russick’s latest digital initiative, the Chicago 00 Project, is produced in partnership with filmmaker Geoffrey Alan Rhodes. The interactive augmented and virtual reality experiences showcase the Museum’s film, photo, and sound archive and won a MUSE award in 2018.
His most recent work, “A Place for Everything: Museum Collections, Technology, and the Power of Place,” was published on Medium in 2014 as part of the CODE-WORDS project. Other recent publications include Connecting Kids to History with Museum Exhibitions (Left Coast Press, 2010), a chapter in Sports in Chicago, edited by Elliott J. Gorn (University of Illinois Press, 2008), and Historic Photos of Chicago Crime: The Capone Era (Turner Publishing, 2007), which features nearly 200 images from the Chicago History Museum’s photography collection.
Russick served as a consultant on the 2011 Florentine Films documentary, Prohibition, directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Since 2008 he has organized the American Association of Museum’s annual Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition. Among many other contributions to our organization and to the museum field, Russick served as vice chair for the Museum’s Visioning Committee, chair of the Digital Future Committee, and chair of the Anti-Racism Task Force.
He has won awards for both his preservation and exhibition work.