America’s Least Wealthy Art Collectors See 50/50 Vision Realized

This article was first published in The Times of Israel.

Herb and Dorothy Vogel in the living room of their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment, where they kept 2,400 works of art. (Courtesy of Fineline Media)

Herb and Dorothy Vogel in the living room of their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment, where they kept 2,400 works of art. (Courtesy of Fineline Media)

Audiences around the United States are streaming into museums to view contemporary art collections enriched by two of the country’s least wealthy art patrons. Although Herbert and Dorothy Vogel are retired civil servants without independent means who live in a one-bedroom Manhattan apartment, they amassed a collection of close to 5,000 pieces of conceptual and minimalist art. In 2008, they gifted 50 works to 50 museums, one in each state.

The Vogels donated the art works with the provision that they would be exhibited within five years. Now, midway through 2014, nearly all of the museums have complied with the stipulation, and a film has been made documenting the impact of the Vogel’s 50/50 vision on the museums and their audiences.

“Herb & Dorothy 50×50” by Brooklyn-based director Megumi Sasaki, reveals the Vogels’ story captivates museumgoers and art lovers as much as the art itself. (The film is a sequel to the 2008 film “Herb & Dorothy,” which introduced the couple to an audience outside the art world.)

“The story of Herb and Dorothy goes beyond a story of art,” Sasaki tells The Times of Israel. “I think the most striking thing is that they could have been millionaires, but they never sold anything. It’s hard to believe such people exist — especially in New York!”

Click here to read more and watch the film trailer.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

 

 

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