About Willie Cole

Willie Cole (b. 1955) is known for his transformations of ordinary domestic objects, such as shoes, irons, and lawn jockeys, into powerful works of art. Cole’s sculptures and images are embedded with references to the African American experience and inspired by West African religion, mythology, and culture. Born in New Jersey, Cole attended Boston University School of Fine Arts and received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. His work is in numerous public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. In 2009, the MIA acquired Cole’s sculpture, Ann Klein with a Baby in Transit, on view in Gallery 250 as part of the museum’s new “Art ReMix” initiative.