Herb & Dorothy

You may remember Herb and Dorothy Vogel, who on their postal worker and Brooklyn librarian salaries amassed a contemporary art collection of over 4000 works, all kept in their one bedroom New York apartment.

To share their art legacy, they gave about 2500 works to the National Gallery (their rationale: they worked for the government, earning the money to buy art, and then returned the art to the people at this free museum).  Then they gave 50 works to one museum in each of the 50 states.  Their ’50×50′ program.  Remarkable.

But what did they do?  They continued collecting.

The Herb & Dorothy documentary is an utter joy, so life-affirming and moving, no matter what you think about the art they collected.

The Delaware Art Museum was one of the recipient’s of 50 works, while I was a docent there.  A camera crew came by, to film part of their follow-up documentary.  Looks like they’re going to excerpt from one of my Vogel tours for the new film.  Meantime to see more about that documentary, check out these clips.

You can also follow them on Facebook.


Herb died not too long ago, to all our great sadness.  My heart wept at seeing him shrunken in a wheelchair at the Delaware Art Museum, so terribly frail, still wanting to be a part, as Dorothy took the lead.  That’s not how we’ll remember him though, thanks to these wonderful films.