When we gave you a preview of the amazing documentary film, Herb and Dorothy, last year, we weren’t sure if the film would make it into the theaters or not. We’re excited to announce that the film will be opening at New York City’s Cinema Village on June 5th with a nation-wide rollout all summer! An intimate and inspiring portrait of two of the most prolific contemporary art collectors of our time, this film is a lovestory between a couple and their passion for art. Check the listings for local screenings and go out and support this amazing film!!
Do you have to be a Medici or a Rockefeller to collect art?
Not according to Herbert and Dorothy Vogel. This documentary film tells the extraordinary story of Herb, a postal clerk, and Dorothy, a librarian - an ordinary couple of modest means who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history.
In the early 1960s, when very little attention was paid to Minimalist and Conceptual Art, Herb and Dorothy quietly began purchasing the works of unknown artists. Devoting all of Herb’s salary to buy art, and living on Dorothy’s paycheck alone, they continued collecting artworks guided by two rules: the piece had to be affordable, and small enough to fit in their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. Within these limitations, they proved themselves curatorial visionaries; most of those they supported and befriended went on to become world-renowned artists. Their circle includes: Sol LeWitt, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Richard Tuttle, Chuck Close, Robert and Sylvia Mangold, Lynda Benglis, Pat Steir, Robert Barry, Lucio Pozzi and Lawrence Weiner.
Thirty years on, the Vogels had managed to accumulate over 4,000 pieces, filling every corner of their living space from the bathroom to the kitchen. “Not even a toothpick could be squeezed into the apartment,” recalls Dorothy. Their apartment was near collapse, holding way over its limit - something had to be done.
In 1992, the Vogels made headlines that shocked the art world: their entire collection was moved to the National Gallery of Art, the vast majority of it as an outright gift to the institution. Many of the works they acquired at modest prices appreciated so significantly that their collection became worth several million dollars, yet the Vogels never sold a single piece to breakdown the collection.
Herb and Dorothy still live in the same apartment today- with 19 turtles, lots of fish, one cat -once completely emptied, now refilled again with piles of artworks.