Obituaries USA

US collector extraordinaire dies aged 89

Herbert Vogel: the New York postal worker who collected US post-war art

Dorothy and Herbert Vogel with one of their pet cats

Herbert Vogel, a former postal worker and art collector extraordinaire, died aged 89 on 22 July.

Herbert and his wife, Dorothy, collected more than 2,500 works of minimalist and conceptual art by artists including Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre and Ed Ruscha. The couple began collecting in 1962.

They lived for many years in a small New York apartment that overflowed with art, books and their pets—at one point they owned eight cats, 19 fish and 20 turtles. They used his pay cheque to buy art while living on her librarian's salary.

In 1992 they bequeathed much of their collection to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, which also purchased some works. In 2008 the National Gallery of Art helped distribute more than 2,000 works as gifts to more than 50 institutions across the US. These included the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta and the Seattle Art Museum.

The Art Newspaper interviewed the Vogels in 2008 to coincide with the screening of the documentary "Herb & Dorothy" and their visit to Art Basel Miami Beach (see link above).

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