One Piece at a Time

Contemporary art is too expensive for the average person. At best, it’s an innocuous diversion for bourgeoisie academics and the filthy rich. At worst, it’s a perverse justification for the inequities of capitalism.

If you believe any of these statements, you need to see the film Herb & Dorothy this Sunday at the Miami Art Museum. Herb Vogel, age 86, is a retired postal clerk. His wife, Dorothy, age 74, was for many years a librarian. Yet with just their meager combined salaries, they were able to amass one of the most impressive and important art collections in the world. Beginning in the ’60s, the couple purchased early pieces — one by one — from then-emerging artists such as Sol LeWitt, Richard Tuttle, Julian Schnabel, Jeff Koons, and Vito Acconci, and stored them wherever they could find space in their tiny Manhattan apartment.

Director Megumi Sasaki tells the story largely through the artists, who gush about the dedication and the unusually perceptive eye of the Vogels, a couple driven not by art or commerce, but by love. The film begins at 3 p.m. Tickets are free with museum admission, but seating is limited.
Sun., July 19, 3 p.m., 2009

 
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