The Vogels at the opening reception of From Minimal to Conceptual Art: Works from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection, May 25 1994. Photograph by John Tsantes © National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gallery Archives



The Vogel Collection and Fifty Works for Fifty States

In 1992 the National Gallery of Art, Washington, announced an agreement that established the Gallery’s stewardship of the Vogel’s collection. Since then 1,100 paintings, objects, drawings, photographs, prints, and illustrated books have entered the Gallery’s collection or are promised gifts. The Vogels continued to acquire art (as purchases and gifts from artists), and their collection doubled in size from some 2,400 works in 1992 to today’s figure of more than 4,000 objects. The sheer size of the collection—far too large to be reasonably placed in any one institution—led to the development of The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States project, which enabled the Vogels to share the gift of their collection nationwide. This project has received essential support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

their collection doubled in size from some 2,400 works to more than 4,000 objects

Fifty Works for Fifty States encompasses 2,500 drawings, paintings, objects, prints, and photographs by 177 artists. The Vogels selected participating institutions using a range of personal criteria. Some venues had already exhibited works from the collection or had invited the collectors to speak; others were staffed by professionals the couple had worked with over the years; still others were in cities significant to one or both of them, such as Buffalo, where Dorothy attended school. For some states they based decisions on research that identified institutions with an interest in contemporary art. The Vogels’ goal was to bring work by contemporary artists to institutions that might otherwise not have been able to acquire them.