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Herb & Dorothy
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Herb & Dorothy (2008) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 2 | slideshow) Videos (see all 5)
Herb & Dorothy -- Herb and Dorothy tells the story of Herbert Vogel, a postal clerk, and Dorothy Vogel, a librarian, who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history with very modest means.
Herb & Dorothy -- Clip: Herb and Dorothy's packed apartment as described by Lynda Beglis, Lawrence Weiner, Jeanne-Claude & Christo and Chuck Close
Herb & Dorothy -- Clip: Christo and Jeanne-Claude's cat
Herb & Dorothy -- Clip: Chuck Close and Lynda Benglis talk about Herb and Dorothy
Herb & Dorothy -- Clip: Herb & Dorothy explain their buying strategy


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7.6/10   726 votes »
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Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
13 November 2010 (Japan) See more »
You don't have to be a Rockefeller to collect art. See more »
Herb and Dorothy Vogel redefine what it means to be an art collector. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
6 wins See more »
[DVD Review] Herb and Dorothy
 (From JustPressPlay. 17 December 2009, 6:55 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Funds: 2, passion: 10, result: 10 See more (6 total) »


Paula Antebi ... Herself - Herb's Sister
Will Barnet ... Himself - Artist
Robert Barry ... Himself - Artist
Lynda Benglis ... Herself - Artist

Michael Bloomberg ... Himself - Mayor of New York City (archive footage)
Christo and Jeanne-Claude ... Themselves - Artists (also archive footage)

Chuck Close ... Himself - Artist
Jack Cowart ... Himself - Director, Roy Lichtenstein Foundation

Molly Donovan ... Herself - Curator, National Gallery of Art
Carole Hoffman ... Herself - Dorothy's Sister-in-Law
Sidney S. Hoffman ... Himself - Dorothy's Brother
Sol LeWitt ... Himself - Artist (archive footage)
Joe Libonati ... Himself - Postal Worker
Robert Mangold ... Himself - Artist
Sylvia Mangold ... Herself - Artist (as Sylvia Plimack Mangold)
John Paoletti ... Himself - Art Historian
Lucio Pozzi ... Himself - Artist
Charles Ritchie ... Himself - Curator, National Gallery of Art

Charlie Rose ... Himself - Host, The Charlie Rose Show (archive footage)
Julie Salamon ... Herself - Journalist, New York Times
Alan Shestack ... Himself - Deputy Director, National Gallery of Art
James Siena ... Himself - Artist (also archive footage)
Susanna Singer ... Herself - Artists Representative
Pat Steir ... Herself - Artist
Robert Storr ... Himself - Art Critic, Curator
Richard Tuttle ... Himself - Artist
Archie Vogel ... Himself - Cat

Dorothy Vogel ... Herself (also archive footage)
Herbert Vogel ... Himself (also archive footage)

Mike Wallace ... Himself - CBS 60 Minutes Correspondent (archive footage)
John Weber ... Himself - Art Dealer
Lawrence Weiner ... Himself - Artist

Directed by
Megumi Sasaki 
Produced by
Lilly Bright .... executive producer
Stanley F. Buchthal .... executive producer (as Stanley Buchthal)
Sally Jo Fifer .... executive producer
Maja Hoffman .... executive producer
Karl Katz .... executive producer
David Koh .... executive producer
Catherine Price .... executive producer
Megumi Sasaki .... producer
Takeshi Yamasaki .... associate producer
Original Music by
David Majzlin 
Film Editing by
Bernadine Colish 
Production Management
Mary Martin .... post-production producer
Richard O'Connell .... director of production: itvs
Jorge Trelles .... production manager
Chad Whitman .... post-production producer
Sound Department
James Baker .... location sound
Brett Hammond .... location sound
Peter Levin .... re-recording mixer
Hiro Maeda .... location sound
James Nichols .... dolby consultant
Barbara Parks .... sound editor
Gabrielle Weiss .... location sound
Visual Effects by
Danna Bremer .... motion graphics and title design
Einat Gavish .... motion graphics and title design
Bert Moss .... motion graphics
Bert Moss .... title designer
Camera and Electrical Department
Axel Baumann .... camera
Ciro Caso .... additional camera
Chris Dapkins .... additional camera
Rafael de la Uz .... camera
Alan Deutsch .... additional camera
Morgan Fallon .... camera
Grant Gaughen .... additional camera (as Grant W. Gaughen)
Perry Grebin .... additional camera
Tempei Iwakiri .... additional camera
Leo Lawrence .... additional camera
Daniel Lehrecke .... additional camera
Daniel Marracino .... additional camera
Brian Murphy .... additional camera
Ian Saladyga .... camera
Megumi Sasaki .... additional camera
Sam Shinn .... additional camera
Erik Shirai .... camera
Vladimir Subotic .... camera
Katsuyoshi Tanaka .... still photographer
Hemant Tavathia .... additional camera operator (as Tavathia Hement)
Gabrielle Weiss .... additional camera
Editorial Department
Alex Berman .... colorist
Julie Criniere .... editor: trailer
Abbey Dubin .... post-production assistant
Audra Epstein .... post-production assistant
Ema Jitsukawa .... post-production assistant
Jeremy Krinsley .... post-production assistant
Eugene Lehnert .... on-line editor
Meera Menon .... post-production assistant
Jonathan Nastasi .... editor: trailer
Joseph Ruscitto .... associate editor
Jonathan Trimby .... post-production assistant
Music Department
Lawrence Manchester .... music recording mixer: Avatar Studios
Paul Vazquez .... music recording engineer
Other crew
Dorothy Alexander .... photograph source
David Antebi .... additional archival source
Robert Barry .... additional archival source
Rick Bartow .... web site designer
Guido Baselgia .... photograph source
Benjamin Blackwell .... photograph source
Lyn Blumenthal .... archival footage source
Peter Broderick .... distribution strategist
Lisa Callif .... clearance counsel
Christo .... additional archival source
Michael Clark .... additional archival source
Lori Derhagopian .... production assistant
John Dominis .... photograph source
Gianfranco Gorgoni .... additional archival source
Michael Halsband .... photograph source
Shiro Hayashi .... production assistant
Kate Horsfield .... archival footage source
David Horton .... photograph source
Gordon Hyatt .... additional archival source
Jeanne-Claude .... additional archival source
Dana Kirchoff .... archival researcher
Linda Lilienfeld .... archival researcher
Divya Madhusudhan .... archival researcher
Christopher Mako .... additional archival source
Fred McDarrah .... photograph source (as Fred W. McDarrah)
Katia McGuire .... archival researcher
Yuichiro Nonaka .... production assistant
Walter Russell .... additional archival source
Amy Schewel .... archival researcher
Judith Shea .... photograph source
Julia Siemon .... transcript: Transcript Associates
Innes Smolansky .... legal services: Donaldson & Callif
Michelle Stockman .... transcript: Transcript Associates
Allan Tannenbaum .... photograph source
Dorothy Vogel .... additional archival source
Dorothy Vogel .... art source
Herbert Vogel .... additional archival source
Herbert Vogel .... art source
Zelda Wirtschafter .... archival footage source
Kunsthaus Zug .... photograph source
Toshio Adachi .... special thanks
Shinichiro Akasaka .... special thanks
Carey Ascenzo .... special thanks
Will Barnet .... special thanks
Robert Barry .... special thanks
Peter Bavaro .... special thanks
Lynda Benglis .... special thanks
Steve Bennett .... special thanks
John Chamberlain .... special thanks
Christo .... special thanks
Charles Clough .... special thanks
Harry Cooper .... special thanks
Nadine Covert .... special thanks
Charina Espino .... special thanks
Ted Feder .... special thanks
Ruth Fine .... special thanks
Gloria Gura .... special thanks
Maki Hatae .... special thanks
Beth Janson .... special thanks
Jeanne-Claude .... special thanks (as Christo & Jeanne-Claude)
Jim Jermanok .... special thanks
Jennifer Joy .... special thanks
Michael Joyce .... special thanks
Steve Keister .... special thanks
Steven Konick .... special thanks
Yasushi Koyama .... special thanks
Wendy Lehman .... special thanks
Ethan Levitas .... special thanks
Robert Mangold .... special thanks
Gloria McDarrah .... special thanks
Mary Jane McKinven .... special thanks
Jennifer Moon .... special thanks
Troy Myers .... special thanks
Aiko Nakasone .... special thanks
Claes Oldenburg .... special thanks
Gladys Pizarro .... special thanks
Nestor Pizzaro .... special thanks
Edda Renouf .... special thanks
Craig Robins .... special thanks
Peter Rosen .... special thanks
James Siena .... special thanks
Sandy Spencer .... special thanks
Pat Steir .... special thanks
Masako Tsumura .... special thanks
Keiko Tsuno .... special thanks
Seth Unger .... special thanks
Stephen A. Vigilante .... special thanks
Atsuko Watanabe .... special thanks
Lawrence Weiner .... special thanks
Barbara Wood .... special thanks
Masa Yanagi .... special thanks
Minoru Yasuda .... special thanks
Alon Yavni .... special thanks
Deborah Ziska .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
87 min

Did You Know?

Along with the copious art collection which hangs on their walls, hangs from their ceilings, is stacked on the floor, stacked under their bed, and propped against or behind furniture, Herbert Vogel and Dorothy Vogel also have a large animal menagerie in their small apartment, made up of several cats roaming freely, several large turtles in water filled aquariums, and tropical fish in another aquarium.See more »
Movie Connections:
Features "60 Minutes" (1968)See more »


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20 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Funds: 2, passion: 10, result: 10, 23 July 2009
Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California

The Vogels are a couple of modest means but focused passion who assembled a world-class art collection buying small, affordable works but choosing wisely and with love and living for art. They married in 1960 and collected from the ideal vantage point of New York City. He was a postal worker, sorting mail at night, and she was a librarian in Brooklyn Heights. They used his salary for the purchases and hers for the rent of their small one-bedroom rent-controlled apartment and other living expenses. He had the expertise, but she caught on; and they are inseparable. Both were open-minded and excited by what they found. They focused on minimal, conceptual, and verbal art because that was what they could afford. Abstract expressionism was fading and Pop Art was rising They were "greedy," someone says (a Who's Who of artists appear on screen to talk abut the couple, who were famous in the New York art world by 1970). "You like to buy four at a time," an artist says. "No, forty," jokes Herbie.

They were single-minded, and their apartment filled up. They have cats and tropical fish and turtles but never had children. After work they got together and went to galleries, or visited artists, from whom they bought directly. Most of the artists they bought from were unknown then and desperately needed money. The Vogels had the same dedication and indifference to necessary poverty the artists had. And theirs has been a life in art as rich as any artist's.

When they finally called Christo and Jeanne-Claude, she picked up the phone and said "It's the Vogels! We're going to pay the rent this month." But when they came and heard the prices of sketches of the coming Christo project, Valley Curtain, Herb said, "Oh, we came too late!" They were priced to fund the couple's costly environmental artworks. But when Christo and Jeanne-Claude went to Colorado to finish Valley Curtain, they gave the Vogels a drawing in exchange for taking care of their cat, Gladys while they were away.

The Vogels collected work by, among others, Chuck Close, Pat Steir, Lida Benglis, Robert Mangold, Sol Lewitt, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Richard Long, Julian Schnabel, Jeff Koons, and Richard Tuttle. All these artists' work eventually have come to be worth megabucks, but the Vogels would sooner have amputated a limb as sell an artwork. Speculating is fine, and may help the artists, Herb says, but not for them. Not all the artists they collected are famous, but they love them all.

Their first Lewitt was tall, and they traded it for a horizontal one; he must have delivered both, because they liked to buy smaller works that they could take with them in a taxi. And they kept everything somewhere in the apartment.

Filmmaker Sasaki has done an excellent job of assembling voices. Sylvia Mangold, Chuck Close Lynda Benglis, Pat Steir, Robert Barry, Lucio Pozzi and Lawrence Weiner are some of the main artists who talk about the Vogels' passion and skill and friendship. There are also museum curators. The film makes clear the Vogels are famous collectors, chronicled and celebrated in many articles (books will surely come). It may take some time for this to sink in. This cute little old couple -- they are old now, the long necked, erect woman with her big round glasses, the little man hunched forward, focusing on an art work he wants like a beagle pointing a bird, unswerving, obsessed. They're sweet, but they're relentless, a life force. Chuck Close calls them "the mascots of the New York art world." Surprisingly, there is plenty of period footage of them from earlier decades, gallery-going, being interviewed, being greeted at openings by artists or gallery owners as honored guests. At the post office Herbie revisits (he retired in 1980) we learn he kept his fame and passion secret and found nobody who wanted to talk about art there anyway.

Many museums sought the collection and the couple always said no. When they didn't say no to the National Gallery in Washington (which they had visited on their honeymoon) curators came calling a few years ago (the film is a bit vague about the time-line) and they agreed to donate. Only to consider this offer, the National Gallery had to catalogue the collection's over 2000 pieces, and this was impossible in the limited space, so the art works had to be crated piece by piece and shipped to Washington for evaluation. It too five giant moving vans to transport the collection from the little one-bedroom apartment. It was packed so tight. The National's rule (a reason for the Vogels' confidence) is that donations it accepts can never be deaccessioned; hence eventually the museum decided it could only accept half the works. So a program has been set up to travel the other works around the fifty states. This is called the Vogel 50x50 program.

The film also shows Herbie and Dorhty together in many scenes that convey their keen memory, precise knowledge, and love of the works they've collected. You see Herb doing his beagle thing, zeroing in on a small early John Chamberlain piece and explaining why it's every bit as representative and good as a larger Chamberlain and how unusual that is.

The donation cleared room in the jammed apartment so the Vogels could move around a bit, and as the curator thought, acquire a little more furniture. The museum pays them an annuity to keep them financially secure. But instead of using that to buy furniture, they just went out and bought more art, though Dorothy did buy a laptop so she can email.

In a way Herb and Dorothy are like Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The finances have certainly been different, but both are couples who have lived spartanly and basically put every available penny into art. There is much to inspire artists and collectors in these two extraordinary and dedicated couples.

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