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Donald Sultan (American, b. 1951), Moon and Moonbeam June 28, 1979, 1979. Vinyl asbestos tile on wood; 12 x 12 inches. Gift of The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, a joint initiative of the Trustees of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the National Gallery of Art, with generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2008.10.37.

HUNTINGTON — A new exhibit titled “Community Trust Bank Presents: The Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for West Virginia” will be on view at the Huntington Museum of Art now through Nov. 28. A documentary film about art collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel is scheduled tentatively to be presented in HMA’s Grace Rardin Doherty Auditorium at 7 p.m. Sept. 28 as part of the Tuesday Tour Series. Admission to the documentary film showing is free.

Dorothy and Herbert Vogel proved that even ordinary citizens can make their mark on the art world by building a noteworthy collection. With an initial focus upon drawings, the couple slowly amassed a stunning group of artworks, according to the museum. Beginning in the 1960s, they spent their free time attending gallery openings and getting to know young artists whose work was of interest. They would typically buy directly from the artists themselves and would form lasting friendships with them. As time went by, they accumulated more than 4,000 objects with a focus upon minimalist and conceptual art, including work by luminaries such as Sol Lewitt, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, and Chuck Close.

“The Huntington Museum of Art is extremely proud to have been selected to become the permanent home for fifty works collected by Dorothy and Herbert Vogel,” said HMA Senior Curator/Exhibition Designer John Farley in a news release. “Visitors to this exhibition will see a broad sampling of the artists who captured the attention of the Vogels, including sculpture by Lynda Benglis and Donald Sultan and drawings by Richard Tuttle and Robert Mangold.”

As the Vogel collection grew, it began to strain the bounds of the couple’s one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. The solution to their lack of storage space came when they agreed to donate their entire collection to the National Gallery of Art. The transfer of the work took five full-size trucks to move the work to Washington, D.C. Even the National Gallery found the size of the collection to be overwhelming, so eventually a plan was hatched by one of its curators, Ruth Fine, (with approval from the Vogels) to gift 50 of the works to one museum in each of the 50 states as part of a program known as Fifty Works for Fifty States. In West Virginia, the Huntington Museum of Art was chosen to receive one of the distributions of what Fine called a “mini-Vogel collection.”

This exhibit is presented by Community Trust Bank.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

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