an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me

Herb And Dorothy, The Sequel

Remember Herb and Dorothy Vogel? Of course you do. They are the New York couple, the postal clerk and the school librarian, who collected art using only his salary for years — and eventually gave most of it away to the National Gallery in Washington and then to 50 museums, one each in every state. They were the subject of a documentary in 2009 called “Herb and Dorothy.” I wrote about it then for The Art Newspaper, and to this day it is usually one of the most-viewed articles on my personal website.

herb-and-dorothy-50x50On Friday, a second documentary by Megumi Sasaki about the Vogels (Herb has since died) will premier in New York at IFC Center: HERB & DOROTHY 50X50. It’s a sequel that follows the tale — “a continued look at the varying lives of the artists the Vogel’s adored and a new view of the curators, docents and museum visitors who were affected by this unprecedented donation.”

Here’s more:

A ‘road movie’ through the art world, the film takes the audience on a journey across the US to eleven recipient museums, from Honolulu to Fargo, meeting curators and visitors, and introduces famous (often controversial) artists, as well as unknown favorites of Herb and Dorothy.

Sasaki has revelations, she says in her statement about this sequel — including the fact that Herb initially opposed the 50X50 idea.

I haven’t seen the film, which lasts 87 minutes, but here’s the trailer. After IFC, it opens at 40 other theaters around the country.




  1. VMFA is the proud recipient of the Vogel gift for Virginia, and the exhibition is on view now through October 20. VMFA had a pre-preview of Herb & Dorothy 50X50 on August 9. Both Dorothy Vogel and Megumi Sasaki spoke delightfully to a sold-out audience after the screening.

    VMFA’s Vogel collection showcase objects by American artists Anne Arnold, Robert Barry, Richard Francisco, Don Hazlitt, Martin Johnson, Steve Keister, Alain Kirili, Cheryl Laemmle, Jill Levine, Joseph Nechvatal, David Novros, Larry Poons, Lucio Pozzi, Edda Renouf, Judy Rifka, Pat Steir, Daryl Trivieri, Richard Tuttle, and Thornton Willis.

an ArtsJournal blog