October 08, 2008

New York collectors donate art to SIUC’s museum

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is the one museum in the state of Illinois poised to receive a gift of 50 works of contemporary art from New York art collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel.

The 50-piece collection is part of a national gifts program called “The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States.” The program stems from a massive gift of 2,500 pieces of art the Vogels presented to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C.

The National Gallery, in conjunction with the Vogels and assisted by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, determined to divide the collection so that one museum in each state would receive a gift of 50 pieces.

University Museum Director Dona Bachman said she was delighted to hear of the museum’s selection as the recipient. She said the gift enhances the museum’s already excellent collection of contemporary art and re-emphasizes the importance of the University and the University Museum in the cultural atmosphere of Southern Illinois.

The Vogels worked with Ruth Fine, National Gallery of Art curator of special projects in modern art, to select packages of 50 works for the recipient museums nationwide. The collection focuses on minimalistic and conceptual art.

“We hope this will be a truly national program, and that it will make the work of the many artists we admire familiar to a wider audience, “ Dorothy Vogel said in a news release prepared by the National Gallery of Art (www.nga.gov/press). “We also hope our gifs will enable museums throughout the country to represent a significant range of contemporary art.”

Herbert Vogel worked for the U.S. Postal Service while Dorothy Vogel worked as a reference librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. They chose to devote Herbert’s salary to art patronage, and during a 45-year period, they created a private collection unrivalled in the “range, complexity and quality” of art.

The official presentation from the Vogels is set for Nov. 16 in Washington, D.C. Bachman said University Museum will host an exhibit of the Vogel collection soon. The University Museum part of the collection includes works by Stephen Antonakos, Will Barnet, Robert Barry, Loren Calaway, Charles Clough, Peggy Cyphers, William Fares, Richard Francisco, Michael Goldberg, Don Hazlitt, Jane Highstein, Bryan Hunt, Martin Johnson, Steve Keister, Mark Kostabi, Cheryl Laemmie, Ronnie Landfield, Michael Lucero, Forrest Myers, Richard Nonas, Lucio Pozzi, Edda Renouf, Edward Renouf, Alan Saret, Lori Taschler, Daryl Triveri, Richard Tuttle, and Thornton Willis.

The donation includes plans for a project book to document the remarkable gift. The book, to be co-published by the NEA and the NGA, will feature remarks from Earl A. Powell III, Dana Gioia, chairman of the NEA, Ann-Imelda M. Radice, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dorothy Vogel and an essay on the history of the Vogel Collection by Ruth Fine.

Other museums included in the Vogel “Fifty Works for Fifty States” donation include the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Harvard University Art Museums, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Seattle Art Museum.