The Speed Art Museum
is honored to be a recipient of fifty works of art from one of the most impressive contemporary collections ever assembled. In celebration of this gift, the museum is proud to present The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States on view through May 17, 2009.
Having built one of the largest collections of contemporary art in America, New Yorkers Dorothy and Herbert Vogel gave more than 1,000 artworks to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. However, with 2,500 pieces remaining the couple, assisted by the National Gallery, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, launched a national gift program to distribute works of art from their collection to every state in the Union. Entitled The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States this program has honored the Commonwealth of Kentucky by selecting the Speed Art Museum as the recipient of fifty works by contemporary artists with a strong emphasis on Minimalism and Conceptual Art, including works by artists Robert Barry, Lynda Benglis, Peter Halley, Robert Mangold, Richard Nonas, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Pat Steir, and Richard Tuttle. Admission is free.
Dorothy was a reference librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library, Herbert was a United States postal worker and together they built an exceptional collection of contemporary art. Setting their passion for collecting above personal comfort, the couple used Dorothys salary to cover the expenses of daily life and devoted Herberts to the acquisition of contemporary art.
When they first began collecting in the early 1960s, they lived in a small rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, NY. Because of the limited space and funds available to them the Vogels were drawn to small works of art, especially drawings. They believe drawings reveal the artists hand and the initial form of an idea. This emphasis on drawings, combined with the varied character and breadth of the collection, adds to the unique and intimate nature to the art they assembled.
On the purpose of this ambitious gift program, Dorothy Vogel said, We hope this will be a truly national program, and that it makes the work of the many artists we admire familiar to a wider audience. We also hope our gifts will enable museums throughout the country to represent a significant range of contemporary art.