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Herb & Dorothy

March 2, 2011

I watched a very beautiful documentary a couple of nights ago which I think should be recommended viewing for anyone who's ever thought about buying art but doesn't have Bill Gates' budget.

The documentary, Herb & Dorothy, explores the world of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, an New York couple of very modest means (she was a librarian and he worked nights sorting mail at the post office), who feed their obsession with contemporary art by becoming collectors.

So devoted are Herb and Dorothy to the New York experimental art scene that they attend every opening and visit every gallery. Back in the 60s, they befriended many now-famous artists when those people were on the make -- Sol Lewitt, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Chuck Close etc -- and become early patrons, scrimping every spare penny of their meagre salaries to buy the' work when very few collectors in the art establishment would give these artists a second glance .

But the documentary serves more than an inspiration to would-be curators. It's a story about the unconventional ways in which people can get involved in the arts, even if they're not artists themselves, and do good things in the world simply by virtue of their knowledge, passion and enthusiasm.

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