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Catalog Data

Purnell, Louis R  Search this
National Air and Space Museum  Search this
United States Army Air Forces Fighter Group, 332nd  Search this
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)  Search this
Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation (Exhibition) (1982-2016: National Air and Space Museum)  Search this
Chronology of Smithsonian History
Louis R. Purnell, Oral history Interviews, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9578
Bellizzi, Courtney. "Louis Purnell, Airman and Curator." Smithsonian Institution Archives. February 22, 2011.
Louis R. Purnell becomes curator of the Department of Space Science of the National Air and Space Museum, thus becoming the Smithsonian Institution's first African American curator. Purnell was a Tuskegee Airman who started working for the Smithsonian Institution in 1961 as a Museum Specialist with the National Museum of Natural History. He would become an instrumental part of building the astronautics branch of NASM, becoming the world's foremost expert on space suits. He was also instrumental in bringing the Tuskegee Airmen exhibit to life.
Contact information:
Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,
Museum curators  Search this
Smithsonian Institution--Employees  Search this
African American air pilots  Search this
Astronautics  Search this
African Americans  Search this
Exhibitions  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Archives - History Div