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Dorothy and Herbert Vogel papers, 1960s-2009

Dorothy and Herbert Vogel papers, 1960s-2009

Vogel, Dorothy, 1935-

Librarian, Collector

Collection Information

Size: 47.5 linear feet

Summary: The papers of contemporary art collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel measure 47.5 linear feet and date from the 1960s to 2009. Found is scattered general correspondence, artists' files, subject files, business records, and printed material relating to the Vogel Collection. Artists' and subject files create the bulk of the collection, the majority of which is printed material but includes some correspondence from artists.

Biographical/Historical Note

Dorothy (1935- ) and Herbert Vogel (1922-2012) were contemporary art collectors in New York, New York. Dorothy was a librarian and Herbert was a postal clerk in New York. The couple, working out their modest one bedroom apartment in New York, bought and collected contemporary art for over 45 years, resulting in an extensive art collection.

Provenance

Dorothy and Herbert Vogel donated their papers in several accretions from 1980 to 2009.

Related Materials

Funding

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund.

Location of Originals

  • Reel 2435: Originals returned to the lenders, Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, after microfilming.

A Finding Aid to the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Papers, 1960s-2009, in the Archives of American Art
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Author
Finding aid prepared by Jayna M. Josefson
Biographical/Historical note
Dorothy (1935- ) and Herbert Vogel (1922-2012) were contemporary art collectors in New York City, New York. The middle-class couple bought and collected art for forty-five years and amassed an extensive collection.
A life-long New Yorker, Herbert Vogel was born in 1922 and dropped out of school to work in a garment factory. After joining the U.S. Army, Vogel became a postal clerk and began to frequent Greenwich Village's Cedar Bar, a popular bar of the arts crowd. Vogel developed a deep appreciation for art and for the artists themselves.
In 1960, he met librarian Dorothy Faye Hoffman and they quickly fell in love. During their honeymoon, they visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.. Dorothy and Herb's first purchase was a sculpture by John Chamberlain. On their civil servant salary, the Vogels continued to collect and purchase art, beginning with young artists of the 1960s and 1970s while bypassing the dealer system of the New York City art scene. The result was a collection of 5,000 pieces which had to fit in their one-bedroom apartment.
In 1992, the Vogels donated the bulk of their collection to the National Gallery of Art, with fifty pieces intended to go to a museum or institution in each of the United States. Herbert Vogel died in 2012 in Manhattan and is survived by Dorothy.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 5 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1971-1987 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 2: Artists' Files, 1963-2009 (30.4 linear feet; Boxes 1-31)
Series 3: Subject Files, 1969-2008 (9.8 linear feet; Boxes 31-41)
Series 4: Vogel Collection Business Records, 1974-1988 (0.3 linear feet; Box 41)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1960s-2000s (6.7 linear feet; Boxes 41-47, OV48-58)
Scope and Contents note
The papers of contemporary art collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel measure 47.5 linear feet and date from the 1960s to 2009. Found is scattered general correspondence, artists' files, subject files, business records, and printed material relating to the Vogel Collection. Artists' and subject files create the bulk of the collection, the majority of which is printed material but includes some correspondence from artists.
Scattered general correspondence is with friends, acquaintances, and corporate entities.
Files for artists' represented in the Vogel Collection include Carl Andre, Stephen Antonakos, Richard Artschwager, Alice Aycock, Will Barnet, Mel Bochner, Andre Cadere, Ann Chernow, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Peggy Cyphers, Claudia DeMonte, Richard Francisco, Dan Graham, Jan Groth, Don Hazlitt, Jene Highstein, On Kawara, Sol Lewitt, Sylvia and Robert Mangold, Lucio Pozzi, Edda Renouf, Robert Ryman, Barbara Schultz, Lori Taschler, Richard Tuttle, and Lynn Umlauf among many others. Materials within artists' files may include printed material, correspondence, writings and notes, and scattered business records.
Subject files are found for Dorothy and Herbert Vogel's friends and colleagues within the art world including art historians, writers, gallerists, dealers, and collectors. Extensive letters are from Sandy Seawright and Bernadine Tabler. Exhibition related materials are found among the files.
Scattered business records of the Vogel Collection document exhibitions of the collection at U.S. institutions and at the Kunsthalle Bielefeld Museum in Germany.
Printed materials include clippings, posters, and exhibition catalogs and announcements.
Provenance
Dorothy and Herbert Vogel donated their papers in several accretions from 1980 to 2009.
Separated Materials note
Three notebooks containing clippings, articles, press releases, exhibition catalogs and announcements were loaned by the Vogels in 1982 for microfilming onto reel 2435 and were returned to the Vogels after microfilming. The notebooks are not described further in the container listing of this finding aid.
Location of Originals
  • Reel 2435: Originals returned to the lenders, Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, after microfilming.
Processing Information note
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Jayna Josefson in 2015, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund. The Archives of American Art has implemented minimal processing tactics when possible in order to increase information about and access to more of our collections.
Minimal processing included arrangement to the series, subseries, and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles, but not arranged further. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders, but not all staples and clips were removed.

Additional Forms Available

Notebooks: microfilm reel 2435 available for use at only at Archives of American Art offices.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Dorothy and Herbert Vogel papers, 1960s-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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