The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States

<p>Christy Rupp, Pigeon Flock with Rats, 1980</p>
Christy Rupp, Pigeon Flock with Rats, 1980
Herbert and Dorothy Vogel collected Minimalist, Conceptual and post-1960s art over the course of more than four decades. Herbert (1922-2012) worked as a postal clerk, and Dorothy (b. 1935) as a reference librarian. Setting their collecting priorities above those of personal comfort, they used Dorothy's salary to cover their living expenses and devoted Herbert's salary to the acquisition of contemporary art. 

In 1992 they pledged more than 2,000 paintings, drawings and sculptures, to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and are now distributing 2,500 more pieces to institutions across the country. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is honored to have received fifty works from The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States program being administered by the National Gallery.
As the first collectors to buy work by many artists who were then unknown to a wide audience, the Vogels offered encouragement at the start of the careers of several figures who went on to achieve considerable acclaim. Owing to these artists' close relationship with the collectors, many works of art collected by the Vogels were gifts, marking special occasions—such as Dorothy and Herbert's birthdays and wedding anniversary—and often personally inscribed. In this sense the Vogels' collection is a keen reflection of their friendships with artists.

Click HERE to listen to Creatively Speaking on WRTI, where Susan Lewis considers art collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel and their gifts of 50 works to museums in each of the 50 states.

Curator: Julien Robson, Curator of Contemporary Art
Dates: June 26 – September 12, 2010
Location: Walter & Leonore Annenberg Gallery, Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building

Image Caption: Christy Rupp, Pigeon Flock with Rats, 1980, 29 pieces wire mesh, newspaper, adhesive, plaster, aluminum and paint, plus 2 screen-printed labels, variable installation, rats and pigeons range in size from approximately 8 x 4 x 4 in. to 14 ½ x 13 x 9 in. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, 2008.31.41.1-31, a joint initiative of the Trustees of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the National Gallery of Art, with generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Photo credit: Lyle Peterzell.


PAFA's special exhibitions in 2010-11 are supported by generous contributions from Donald R. Caldwell, Max N. Berry, Esquire, and James C. Biddle.