"Alpha" (Detail) 1989 By Charles Clough


The Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art was selected in 2008 to receive a gift of 50 works of art from the New York art collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel. This generous gift was made possible with the help of the National Gallery of Art, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. These 50 works of art were part of a national gifts program entitled, "The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States.” This program has distributed 2,500 works of art from the Vogel’s personal collection of over 4,000 pieces of modern and contemporary art, with 50 works going to one selected art institution in each of the 50 states. “The Vogel Collection is unique among collections of contemporary art, both for the character and breadth of the objects and for the individuals who created it," said Ruth Fine, curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. "Herbert Vogel (b. 1922) spent most of his working life as an employee of the United States Postal Service, and Dorothy Vogel (b. 1935) was a reference librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. After visiting the National Gallery of Art on their honeymoon in 1962, they prioritized collecting art above personal comfort. The couple used Dorothy’s salary to cover their living expenses and devoted Herbert’s salary to buying primarily minimalist and conceptual art by unknown artists. Their two rules for collecting? The piece had to be affordable, and it had to be small enough to fit into a taxi and then into their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment."

The Vogel Collection is now on permanent display in the museum’s Study Center Gallery.  Please feel free to visit the museum to experience the collection and watch a documentary film by Megumi Sasaki. For a preview of our selection from the Vogel Collection and a glimpse at the whole collection follow this link.