Willie Cole Domestic ID III 1991

  • Not on view

With an often humorous edge, Cole’s assemblage sculptures combine elements drawn from African American history with contemporary consumer culture. In the mid-1980s the artist began to use the steam iron as a printmaking device, stamping decorative patterns onto surfaces ranging from canvas and paper to mattress padding and plaster. In early 1990s works like Domestic ID IV, Cole incorporated a variety of irons that, in their identifying branding, evoke distinct tribal associations. He then labeled each scorch with a commercial brand name to encourage this interpretation, ironically suggesting the “tribes” of Silex, General Electric, or Sunbeam.

Gallery label from 2023
Steam iron scorches on paper in two painted wood window frames
Installation: 51 x 34 3/4 x 1 5/8" (129.5 x 88.3 x 4.1 cm)
The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection Gift
Object number
© 2024 Willie Cole
Drawings and Prints

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].