Cultural Visionaries

Herb and Dorothy Vogel are not typical art collectors. They began quietly, buying works here and there in the early 1960s, when nobody was paying attention to the minimalist and conceptual artists littering the landscape. To continue growing their collection, they decided to live on Dorothy’s librarian salary alone and use Herb’s postal-clerk wages to purchase new works according to two rules: Each piece had to be affordable and be small enough to fit in their tiny, one-bedroom Manhattan apartment.

“People know when something really strikes them,” says Keith Garcia, programming director at Starz FilmCenter. “They took a chance on artists that people thought were weird. They were able to collect all this stuff because these artists weren’t anybody. But they knew what they liked, and they saw the art as important.”

Director Megumi Sasaki saw the Vogels as important; her documentary film, Herb & Dorothy, tells the couple’s story as they collect work by such artists as Sol LeWitt, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Richard Tuttle, Chuck Close, Robert and Sylvia Mangold and many others. Starz hosts a Docnight presentation of the film tonight at 7 p.m., with Sasaki in person; tomorrow, Sasaki leads a filmmakers’ seminar; and Herb & Dorothy continues screening at Starz (located in the Tivoli building) through July 23. Call 303-595-3456 or visit
Thu., July 16, 7 p.m., 2009

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen