The Vogel 50×50 Collection

Dorothy and Herb Vogel were civil servants (she worked in a city library and he worked for the Post Office) in NYC who had a deep love and commitment to contemporary art.  During the 1960’s-1980’s, they amassed one of the world’s great collections of minimalist and conceptual art,  storing works on paper and small sculptures in their one bedroom rent controlled apartment.  When they reached their 80’s, they donated the 4000 plus works to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., a wonderful gift to the nation but too large a gift for the National Gallery to store or display.  The solution was to donate 50 works from their collection to one museum in each of the 50 states and the Vogel 50×50 program was launched.  Susan and I discovered the 50×50 Collection by chance several years ago at the Portland Art Museum in Maine where an exhibit of 25 of Maine’s pieces were on display.  Since then, we have developed a deep feeling for many of the artists and their work in this collection and have decided to try to visit all of the fifty collections around the country.  To date we have visited Maine, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Kansas, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Virginia, Washington, Vermont, Florida, Alaska, New Mexico, Utah, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Indiana.  We plan visits this year to California and Arkansas which would bring the total to 20 and leave 30 more wonderful museum experiences to go.