Focusing on unknown artists at the beginning of their careers, the Vogels amassed on a shoestring a world-class collection of Minimal and Conceptual Art that is a snapshot of the New York art world in the 60s and 70s. Their criteria: “It had to be affordable and it had to fit into the apartment,” says Dorothy in the film.
Herb, left, and Dorothy, far right, in the studio of Pat Steir (back to camera)
Recently they donated their collection to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. It went intact, some 4000-plus works. The Vogels had a pretty good eye. The “unknowns” turned out to be the likes of Eva Hesse, Lynda Benglis, Richard Tuttle, Robert and Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Chuck Close, Donald Judd, Christo and Jeanne Claude, and Pat Steir—many of whom pay homage to the Vogels in the film, some quite humorously.
Those are the facts. But it is the story of the Vogels themselves—told through interviews, photographs, archival footage of them traipsing through SoHo, and of more current scenes of them with the artists—that is the heart and soul of this film. To tell you more is to take away the pleasure of seeing that story unfold.
I have two suggestions: Go see the movie. Start buying art.
Above: Dorothy and Herb at the national gallery of Art, viewing their names recently added to the Donor Wall
Below: The collectors in Central Park a couple of years ago at the opening of the Christo and Jeanne Claude installation, The Gates.
View the trailer here.