Herb & Dorothy
a shared embrace around art
Far more than an absorbing and valuable look back into the early 1960’s and the emerging trends of Minimalist and Conceptual Art, Herb & Dorothy is an intimate portrait of their lives, their involvement with the art capital of the world, and, most of all, their passion for discovery and a personal engagement with artists and the work they created.
After all, this is a couple that went to the National Gallery of Art for their honeymoon! Herb Vogel, a night shift mail sorter for the post office and avid art history buff, fed his enthusiasm for art with part time classes at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts and hanging out before work at the historic Cedar St. Tavern. Dorothy Vogel, working as a librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library, took up her new husband’s interest in art with classes in drawing and painting, also at NYU, hanging her finished works, along with Herb’s paintings, on the walls of their modest one bedroom New York City apartment.
Small treasures, fully intentioned and often preliminary studies, by contemporary artists their own age or younger, soon replaced the work of Herb and Dorothy, up on the walls, and captured the devotion of this collecting couple that stopped making their own art to venture out instead to every museum, gallery, and studio they could, supporting and befriending early talents that would go on to become world renown artists.
First time filmmaker Megumi Sasaki chronicles, in this delightful award winning film, how the Vogels managed to put together one of the most important art collections in history, with very modest means, and then, after thirty years and no room left in their apartment, gave over 2,000 cherished works away, to the National Gallery of Art, in 1992, as a gift. Not to be missed is the telling interview with Jack Cowart, who, at the time, was Head of Department of 20th Century Art at the NGA, as he relates just how immense and valuable the collection was and how daunting the task to take it on.
color DVD 87 minutes + extras