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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Inspiration: Herb and Dorothy

You don't have to be Rockefeller to collect art. Call me out of the loop but I just learned of Herb&Dorothy and I am so inspired.This darling couple has successfully managed to build an unparalleled art collection with a rather modest income. Their passion and commitment to art is inspiring. Check out the documentary trailer and story:
Dorothy, a 73-year-old retired librarian, and her husband Herb, an 85-year-old retired postal clerk started buying minimal and conceptual art in New York in the early 1960s, living on Dorothy’s salary and spending Herb’s on art. Thirty years later, the Vogels had managed to accumulate over 4,000 pieces, filling every corner of their living space from the bathroom to the kitchen. “Not even a toothpick could be squeezed into the apartment,” recalls Dorothy. Their apartment was near collapse, holding way over its limit - something had to be done.

In 1992, the Vogels made headlines that shocked the art world: their entire collection was moved to the National Gallery of Art, the vast majority of it as an outright gift to the institution. Many of the works they acquired at modest prices appreciated so significantly that their collection became worth several million dollars, yet the Vogels never sold a single piece to breakdown the collection. Herb and Dorothy still live in the same apartment today- with 19 turtles, lots of fish, one cat -once completely emptied, now refilled again with piles of artworks.

I really want to start putting some money aside to slowly build my art collection. When I recently visited Gallery Diet to see the Daniel Milewski show I was impressed with their selection of artists and surprisingly affordable original pieces. Here are a few that caught my eye and I'm tempted to pick up.
Maria Jose Aronja, Origami Rabbit 2008; edition of 356; $100
Or one of these modern quilts by
Andrew Mowbray:
The holes 2006; tyvek and thread; 19x19; $800
The Victorian 2006; tyvek and thread; 19x19; $800


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