Over the course of more than forty years, New York collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel amassed one of the most significant collections of contemporary art in the United States. The couple began collecting after their marriage in 1962. Dorothy’s income as a librarian paid expenses while Herb’s salary as a postal officer was reserved for their collecting endeavors. The Vogels frequented New York galleries and purchased works that could be stored in their modest one-bedroom apartment. Herb and Dorothy also established close relationships with many of the artists they collected and enjoyed visiting their studios.
The Vogel collection predominantly consists of drawings and includes minimalist and conceptual art, colorful examples inspired by abstract expressionism, and a range of figurative and representational pieces. In the 1970s, the collection began to receive acclaim from artists and critics alike, and a number of exhibitions ensued. Herb and Dorothy developed a relationship with the National Gallery of Art and transferred their collection to its premises in 1990. Realizing that their collection of more than 4,000 works was too large for any single institution, the Vogels worked with the National Gallery of Art to distribute fifty works from the collection to one institution in each of the fifty states. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art was selected as the Oklahoma institution in 2008.
The fifty works donated to the Museum from the Vogel collection are small-scale and reflect the diversity of their collecting efforts. Of the 25 artists included are examples by Lynda Benglis, Martin Johnson, Lucio Pozzi, Edda Renouf, Robert Barry, and Richard Tuttle. The Vogels actively collected many artists who later became important figures in the contemporary art scene and maintained a devotion to collecting the art of their time.
Visit the Vogel Collection website to learn more about this exceptional collection.