smART Collecting – Herb Vogel and Dorothy Vogel, World-Class Art Collectors

 

The incredible true story of a postal worker and a librarian who built a world-class art collection.

Herbert and Dorothy Vogel, passionate art collectors, amassed a staggering collection of important works before donating their collection to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

It was the early 1960s, and pop art was exploding. Everyone was looking for the next Warhol or Pollock. Meanwhile Herbert Vogel spent most of his working life as a postman and Dorothy Vogel was a reference librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. Setting their priorities above those of personal comfort, the couple devoted Herbert’s salary to the acquisition of contemporary art. What they may have lacked in material wealth was more than matched by their knowledge and passion for art, their delight in discovering new work, and their commitment to particular artists whose work moved them. Not only did the couple grow to befriend many of the artists whose works they had purchased, but years later, after filling their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment with over 4,000 works of art, their collection would be valued at several million dollars.

The Vogels never sold a single piece of art, instead choosing to donate their collection to the National Gallery of Art so they could clear their walls and start again. 2,500 pieces of the collection have been broken into mini-collections, with a single museum in every state getting a piece of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States. The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center was chosen as the Colorado recipient.

For more information about the Fifty Works for Fifty States see www.vogel5050.org. Also, check out the documentary film Herb & Dorothy by Megumi Sasaki. DVD released 12/15/09.

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