During the 70 years he worked as a tenant farmer, Massey learned to make things to meet practical needs and to satisfy his creative energy. He began creating sculptures and paintings after his wife's death in 1955. He is well known for his colorful multilevel birdhouses made from old fruitcrates, his tinfoil birds and his airplanes. He died in 1990 as a result of burns suffered in a house fire. His art was included in the exhibitions "African-American Folk Art in Kentucky", "Passionate Visions of the American South", and others. His work is in many permanent collections, including the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Morris Museum of Art and the Kentucky Folk Art Center.
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