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Past Exhibitions

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'Red Neon from Wall to Floor' by Stephen Antonakos

Fifty Works for Fifty States: The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection

January 29–June 5, 2011

Acquired over the last 45 years, the internationally renowned Vogel Collection—best known for its holdings of Minimal, post-minimal, and conceptual art—charts the development of art-making in the 1960s and 1970s and in many cases provides a comprehensive overview of work by individual artists. In 2008, the Vogels divided a gift of 2500 works among 50 art museums in 50 states, and the High Museum of Art was among the first ten to be selected. This exhibition presents these works for the first time at the High and includes works by Stephen Antonakos, Michael Goldberg, Alan Saret, and Richard Tuttle, among others.

The story of the Vogel Collection defies the usual narrative of wealth and privilege associated with art collecting: Herbert (born 1922) is a retired United States Postal worker and Dorothy (born 1935) is a retired librarian. They lived on Dorothy’s salary from the Brooklyn Public Library, while Herbert’s income was used to acquire art. Driven by curiosity and a dedication to learning, the Vogels assembled a vast collection comprising thousands of artworks.

In 1992, when the collection outgrew the Vogels’ one-bedroom Manhattan apartment, they gave 2,400 pieces to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Even so, by 2007 their collection had doubled in size, which led to the development of The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, a project enabling the Vogels to share their collection nationwide.

The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States is a joint initiative of the Trustees of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the National Gallery of Art, with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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