HERB & DOROTHY 50X50 is a new film that focuses on the final chapter in the lives of legendary art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel. It was developed as the follow-up film to Megumi Sasaki’s award-winning documentary HERB & DOROTHY (2008) that moved millions of art-lovers worldwide, the film captures the last chapter of the Vogel’s extraordinary life and their gift to the nation, raising various questions on art, and what it takes to support art in today’s society.
In 2008, legendary art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel made an announcement that stunned the art world. Known and loved as a retired postal worker (Herb) and librarian (Dorothy) who built a world-class art collection on their humble salaries, the Vogels launched a national gift project with the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington DC that would constitute one of the largest gifts in the history of American art: to give a total of 2,500 artworks to museums in all fifty states.
This came sixteen years after the Vogels had transferred their entire collection to NGA, the majority as a gift, making headlines in 1992. During those years at the NGA, the collection had grown to nearly 5,000 pieces, too large for any one museum to contain. As a solution, a national gift project titled The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States was conceived. Though their collection was now worth millions of dollars, the couple did not sell a single piece, instead giving fifty works to one museum in every state. Having worked their whole lives as civil servants, their wish was to give back to the people of the United States.
One year ago, on July 22, 2012, Dorothy declared their collection closed after the passing of her husband Herb. Dorothy works to create a living tribute to their partnership, the collection they created together, and the overwhelmingly positive legacy they have left on the American art world for generations to come.
Megumi Director/producer began her career as journalist for print media before joining NHK, Japan’s sole public broadcaster (equivalent to BBC in UK) in 1992. She worked both in front and behind the camera, as anchor, reporter and news director for a popular morning news program called Ohayo Nippon.
Herb and Dorothy Vogel compiled one of the most discerning collections of art from the later part of the 20th century. On two lower middle income government paychecks, and living in a rent-controlled small one bedroom apartment in Manhattan, Dorothy Vogel, a public librarian, Herbert Vogel a 30+ year US Postal Service Worker, collected almost 5,000 pieces of art, most by major artists, and donated about half of it to the National Gallery of Art, and the other half (in 50 piece increments) to museums in all 50 states. Herb Vogel passed away in July 2012.
Watch Trailer Here
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