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The Collecting Impulse: Fifty Works from Dorothy and Herbert Vogel at the Blanton. The museum’s tribute to the quirky couple, their iconic collection, and their trademark collecting techniques was understated yet daring, like the badass Vogels themselves. Closed August 12.

*ANECDOTE TIME! When I first visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, I hated it. Too dark, cramped, and the installation confused me; now it is one of my favorite museums—once I warmed up to what purpose it truly serves. Like the Gardner, the Vogel exhibition is not so much about the works on view as it is a testament to the collectors who loved and acquired each piece. The show is at heart a touching portrait of “Herbie” and Dorothy, and coincidentally a most appropriate eulogy (Herb died just a month ago, on July 22, 2012). Luckily I caught this exhibition on its last day, and loved how the Blanton staff projected the wonderful 2008 Megumi Sasaki documentary Herb & Dorothy (trailer below) on one of the walls. The film’s presence breathed life and character into the exhibition, as though Herb and Dorothy were shuffling through the rooms right alongside us. They’ve inspired my own collecting strategy; I can’t wait to get started.

One institution in each of the 50 states received 50 works from the Vogels’ collection. For a wonderful online resource for exploring the donated art, see Vogel 50x50.

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tagged as: Herb & Dorothy. Herbert Vogel. Dorothy Vogel. Herb Vogel. Herbie Vogel. Vogel collection. Blanton Museum of Art. University of Texas at Austin. Austin. art history. art. contemporary art. modern art. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. collecting.

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