Herbert Vogel, who with his wife, Dorothy, built one of the world’s most significant collections of modern art and gave much of it to the National Gallery of Art, died Sunday at age 89 a New York nursing home, says The Washington Post.
In a world of wealthy museum benefactors, the Vogels were unusual figures, a pair of civil servants—he worked for the Postal Service, she at a Brooklyn library—who for 50 years parlayed their modest income and keen eyes for cutting-edge modern art into a priceless trove spanning 5,000 works.
Under an agreement reached in the early 1990s the couple has sold or given some 900 of their works to the National Gallery, which they visited often while on their honeymoon in Washington 30 years earlier. In 2008 and ’09 they donated another 2,500 pieces, 50 each to a designated museum in every state.
Read a 2009 Chronicle of Philanthropy profile of Herbert and Dorothy Vogel.