SAMblog: An extraordinary collection

Starting in 1962, a New York City couple—a librarian and her husband, a postal service employee—built an unlikely collection of art that included some of the most important names in Minimal and Conceptual art. Passionately devoted to the art of their time, Dorothy and Herbert Vogel built an astounding collection of roughly 4000 artworks.  They were avid gallery goers, befriended many artists, and started to champion Minimal and Conceptual art at a time when these art forms were just emerging in New York. The proximity and accessibility of the artists, who had no audience to speak of in the 1960s, paired with an insatiable curiosity and deep appreciation for the most radical ideas, allowed the Vogels to acquire their remarkable collection.

When they decided to gift their collection, their small New York apartment was crammed with art. After the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., accepted some 1000 works from the Vogels as a gift, the collectors and curators decided to create an additional gift: fifty works from their collection would be given to one museum in each of the fifty states of the United States. The Seattle Art Museum is honored to be the recipient in the State of Washington.

Hand Line Reflection Method 5 of 100, 1995, Terry Winters (American, born 1949), ink on paper, 13 x 8 ½ in., The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, a joint initiative of the Trustees of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the National Gallery of Art, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, 2008.29.48, © Terry Winters, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, Photo: Elizabeth Mann. On view in the Modern and Contemporary art galleries, third floor, SAM downtown, starting Saturday, 16 March.