Role Models: Herb and Dorothy Vogel


Herb and Dorothy loved art so intensely that they unintentionally created one of the largest collections of American art. The most spectacular thing about their collecting was that were just working stiffs like the majority of us. They stuffed their tiny rent controlled apartment full of work bought on payments. They collected almost 5,000 pieces which they gave the to National Gallery in D.C. When the National Gallery realized just how big the collection actually was, The Vogels set up their Fifty Works for Fifty States project. Artwork for all fifty states. You can see Oregon’s work, a 1981 untitled piece by Robert Barry, at the Portland Art Museum.

Additionally there is an excellent documentary on the Vogels, Herb & Dorothy, that I highly recommend everyone watch.


All images from


  1. Nat

    Agree – the documentary about them is terrific!

  2. allison b-t

    watched the doc a little while back, it’s really good. it was amazing to see how they were able to amass such a collection! role models, indeed.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. More of Herb and Dorothy Vogel | Duplex