Herbert and Dorothy with Edda Renouf, 1982. Photograph by Bret Waller



First exhibition of their collection, Selections from the Collection of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, opens in Manhattan at the Clocktower Gallery (April–May 1975). Later that year Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture of the ’60s and the ’70s from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection premieres at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (October 7–November 18, 1975), and includes over 200 works. Both exhibitions focus on minimal and conceptual aspects of their collection.

Collection includes approximately 500 artworks.

Vogels profiled in New York magazine (April 28, 1975).

Works from the Collection of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel opens at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (November 11, 1977–January 1, 1978); organized by the museum’s director, Bret Waller, the show reveals a more diverse group of artists, including post-minimalists such as John Torreano and Judy Rifka.

Herb retires from the US Postal Service (1979).


Diane Brown hosts party at her gallery to honor Dorothy’s 50th birthday. Many artists attend (1985).

Vogels and Jack Cowart, whom they had met prior to his becoming curator of 20th-century art at the NGA (1983–1992), talk at a Museum of Modern Art, New York, luncheon, followed by Cowart’s first visit to the Vogel apartment (about 1986).

Vogels profiled in People magazine (September 8, 1986).

Visit Washington DC on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary and meet with Cowart; they also meet Ruth Fine, then curator of modern prints and drawings at the NGA.

First exhibition of the Vogel collection in Europe (Germany) held at Kunsthalle Bielefeld: Beyond the Picture: Works by Robert Barry, Sol Lewitt, Robert Mangold, Richard Tuttle from the Collection, Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, New York (May 3–July 7, 1987).

Vogels attend the opening of From the Collection of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel at its last venue, the Art Museum at Florida International University, Miami (September 15–November 10, 1989) and talk with Cowart again.

Decide to offer a portion of their collection to the NGA as a gift (1989).


Included in “The ARTnews 200,” the magazine’s annual international list of top 200 collectors (January 1990). Remain on the list throughout the decade.

Dorothy Vogel retires from the Brooklyn Public Library system (1990).

Cowart attends party given by Carroll and Donna Janis to celebrate Dorothy’s retirement, and initiates a series of conversations regarding the transfer of the collection.

NGA staff arrive at the Vogel apartment and begin the process of organizing the transfer of 2,400 artworks to Washington (September 1990).

At National Press Club luncheon NGA Director J. Carter Brown announces agreement establishing the Gallery’s stewardship of the Vogel’s collection and their gift of more than 200 works to NGA (January 7, 1992). Additional gifts follow in subsequent years.

From Minimal to Conceptual Art: Works from The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection, NGA (May 29–November 27, 1994), exhibits works selected from gifts and promised gifts to the NGA.