Media - 2021.15 - SAAM-2021.15_3 - 142994
Copied Carolyn Crump, BLM-4, 2020, cotton fabric, cotton thread, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2021.15, © 2020, Carolyn Crump

Artwork Details

overall_​1: 13 38 × 7 14 × 9 14 in. (34 × 18.4 × 23.5 cm)
© 2020, Carolyn Crump
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund
Mediums Description
cotton fabric, cotton thread
  • History — United States — Black History
  • Occupation — other — reformer
Object Number

Artwork Description

“I started making my art masks to chronicle this time in my life so people could know I gave my love, talent, and my time to my community, friends and family, anybody that needed my help. I tried do what I could.” —Carolyn Crump















Carolyn Crump tells stories of African American life with her three-dimensional quilts. She is a fifth-generation quilter and member of the Women of Color Quilters Network. At the onset of COVID-19, Crump began making cloth masks for her community in Houston, Texas. After a few months, she began sewing more elaborate and nonfunctional masks, like a joyful vignette of a little girl reading under an apple tree. Following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, she turned to themes of resilience and social justice, including a portrait of Floyd and protest signs affirming the message Black Lives Matter.








This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World, 2022



Quilt featuring the portrait of a woman
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World
May 13, 2022April 2, 2023
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World showcases the dynamic landscape of American craft today. The exhibition highlights the role that artists play in our world to spark essential conversations, stories of resilience, and methods of activism—showing us a more relational and empathetic world. It centers more expansive definitions and acknowledgments of often-overlooked histories and contributions of women, people of color, and other marginalized communities.