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"Herb & Dorothy 50x50": Great Art Collectors Go National 

Wednesday, Sep 18 2013

Herb & Dorothy 50x50 For decades, librarian Dorothy Vogel and her husband, Herb, purchased as much art as they could afford — typically smaller, inexpensive works of minimalist art — more than 4,000 pieces, some adorning the walls of their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment, the majority packed in boxes and crates. Megumi Sasaki's Herb & Dorothy 50x50, following up Sasaki's 2008 Vogel documentary Herb & Dorothy, follows the launch of "Fifty Works for Fifty States": The Vogels gifted 50 different pieces from their fantastically valuable collection to one museum in every state, so that the public can actually see the works, especially in regions typically ignored by the NY/LA-centric art world. (The remaining 1,500 went to the National Gallery of Art in DC.) Herb & Dorothy 50x50 is about the dire status of art museums in modern America (shortly after receiving their Vogel collection in 2008, the Las Vegas Art Museum shut its doors for financial reasons), the positive impact of the Vogels on the art world, and their twilight as a couple, with Dorothy spearheading the gifting project as Herb's health declines. Although it's sad to see Herb watching impassively from his wheelchair, only speaking when he thinks he has something worth saying — and when he does, it's always sharp and thoughtful — Herb & Dorothy 50x50 is a heartwarming portrait of generosity.

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Sherilyn Connelly


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