Progress of Beauty 3

Mark Kostabi
American, born 1960
Progress of Beauty 3, 1988
ink on paper
11 15/16 x 9 in.

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An Economy of Means: The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection

January 30–May 2, 2010
Project curator: Jacob Proctor

The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection is notable both for the character and breadth of the objects and for the individuals who created it. Herbert Vogel (b. 1922) spent most of his working life as an employee of the United States Postal Service, and Dorothy Vogel (b. 1935) was a reference librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. Setting their collecting priorities above those of personal comfort, the couple used Dorothy's salary to cover the expenses of daily life and devoted Herbert's salary to the acquisition of contemporary art. The couple began collecting in the early 1960s, with a focus on minimal and conceptual art, though they also embraced a wide range of post-minimal practices as well as new figurative directions that emerged in the 1980s. As the first collectors to buy work by many artists who were then unknown to a wide audience, the Vogels offered encouragement at the start of the careers of several figures—artists like Robert Barry, Edda Renouf, and Richard Tuttle, among many others—who went on to achieve considerable acclaim. Many works in the collection were given to the Vogels as gifts, a testament to the Vogels’ close and longstanding relationships with many of the artists they supported. The exhibition is drawn from the Vogels’ recent gift of fifty works to the Museum of Art, donated as part of The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, a national initiative to place fifty works from the collection in a selected art institution in each of the fifty states.

This exhibition is made possible in part by the Friends of the University of Michigan Museum of Art.