Touch (in the time of corona)

Media - 2021.33 - SAAM-2021.33_1 - 143001
Copied Sharon Massey, Touch (in the time of corona), 2020, copper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisitions Fund, 2021.33

Artwork Details

Touch (in the time of corona)
overall_​1: 5 in. × 3 12 in. × 14 in. (12.7 × 8.9 × 0.6 cm)
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisitions Fund
Mediums Description
  • Dress — accessory — jewelry
Object Number

Artwork Description

Metalsmith Sharon Massey created this deeply personal work in 2020 following the death of her husband’s grandmother during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the funeral, Massey’s husband was unable to console his mother because of the need to maintain physical distance. Massey etched his fingerprints onto copper, intending them to be held and caressed like worry or prayer beads. The piece is a reminder of the centrality of touch, not just in craft, but in our everyday lives.


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.