Thursday, September 03, 2009

Documentary on art collectors Herb & Dorothy at the Robinson Film Center Sept 4 - 10

The RFC's Chris Jay writes, "The documentary HERB & DOROTHY is the story of Herb & Dorothy Vogel, a postal worker and a librarian who decided, in the early 1950’s, to dedicate Herb’s entire salary to purchasing “modern” art and to just live off of Dorothy’s teaching salary.

They were in the right place at the right time – in New York in the 50’s and 60’s, buying art like crazy and living off next to nothing – and now one of the most important modern art collections in the United States is packed into their tiny apartment. That’s pretty much the story of the film, the tagline of which is “You don’t have to be a Rockefeller to collect art.”

In a nice bit of synchronicity, there is a Lynda Benglis exhibit up right now at Turner Art Center at Centenary College, and Ms. Benglis is one of the artists collected by Herb & Dorothy Vogel.

I booked the film because I fell in love with the trailer, and am presently just trying my best to get the word out to art lovers in town."


Kathryn Usher said...

When I lived in Houston in the late 80s, early 90s one of the cool things the local mainstream print media was really good about was featuring the local art collectors and what they were excited about collecting. Besides amazing color shots in the write-ups there were great stories on why folks were collecting certain styles/schools and artists.

I can't think of any better story that The Times, SB and The Forum should be doing. I'm really tired of seeing stories on folks houses full of crap they can buy at any retail store. Mass produced crap is still crap no matter how expensive it is. Stop supporting the collecting of Made in China imports and do a real public service and show us real people collecting real art and real crafts.

Also, Houston folks were amazingly supportive of their Texas and local artists. They bought and collected their art and not just at silent auctions. They bought art directly from the artist so the artist could live. Imagine if the only time you bought doctor or lawyer services were at silent auctions. How long could those folks survive in business?

A collector should seek out an artist and actively collect them and not just support local organizations. Local and regional arts organizations can not exist without local and regional artists and who better to encourage local and regional artists than local and regional collectors?

And local and regional artists, we can do a better job at helping folks find us by getting and maintaining a web presence. Digital cameras are very affordable. Blogs are free. All the local libraries have free Internet access. and are great free places to store and manipulate your photos. Youtube is free. Get ta cracking.

Now pardon me while I go entertain myself by making another Vlog (that's a video blog) for my Youtube account. I'm debating on whether or not I ought to go to the Barnwell and check out the chimp hangings. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with calling animal makings "art." After all, what is art? I don't know you tell me. Better yet write about it. I'd much rather read about that in local publications than a local medical professional writing about the next advancement in knee replacements.

trudeau said...

Your thoughts and reportage are righteous, Kathryn.

For the record: Talbot and I have small collections of work by Clyde Connell (Talbot inherited it; Clyde's her great aunt), Ellen Soffer, David Dooley, Tony Reans, Micah Harold. We also have pieces by Kathryn Usher, Lucille Reed, Bill Gingles, Greg Hornbeak, Neil Johnson, Bertha Harris and numerous local artists. I'm looking forward to more trades with my artful brothers and sisters.

If you'd like to write me a brief description of your collecting, I'd be hideously happy to publish it.

In fact, I'll start with Kathryn Usher. The best collector of local art that I know of is Pam Atchison. Need to do an article on her huge cache of N La art.

Kathryn Usher said...

Pam does have an awesome collection. There's a Facebook challenge for us "What artists are you collecting?"

Quickly looking around the house I see Willie Middlebrook, Frances Drew, Neil Johnson, Rebecca Roach, Pam Viviano, Marie Butler, Su Stella, Katee Fontane, Jamie Sanders and Gwen Talbot Hodges.

Music wise... "The Legend of the Old Blue Goose" - Dan Garner. Books...Goodloe Stuck "Shreveport Madam Annie McCune", Yolanda "Young On Our Way to Beautiful," Lalita Tademy "Cane River" and a couple of books by Eric Brock and Gary Joiner.

And strangely enough a Pan's Pantry/Noma Mardi Grape Jelly on the windowsill. I like just looking at the colors and the baby. I don't let anyone eat those.

An art swap would be a rockin idea!