Herb and Dorothy

By Megumi Sasaki

Herb and Dorothy

You don’t have to be a Rockefeller to collect art… This award-winning film owes its enormous appeal to its two unlikely stars: a retired postal clerk and a former librarian who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history. When Herb and Dorothy Vogel began purchasing artwork in the early 60s, they were guided by two rules: the piece had to be affordable, and it had to be small enough to fit in their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. Educating themselves and seeking out young artists at that time, the Vogels initiated a lifelong passion that culminated in over 2,000 pieces, filling every corner of their tiny flat. Within their strict limitations, they proved themselves curatorial visionaries: many of the artists they supported and befriended went on to become world-renowned artists including Jeff Koons, Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, Robert Mangold, and Lawrence Weiner.

Herb and Dorothy


In 1992, the vast majority of their collection, which was worth millions of dollars, was gifted to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Today Herb and Dorothy, whose dedication is revealed by the fact that they never sold one artwork, still live in the same apartment in New York with their turtles, fish and cat, along with piles of newly acquired art.


Directed by first time filmmaker Megumi Sasaki, the film gradually builds a warmhearted portrait of this unique couple, whose candidness and pragmatism offer a unique insight into the seemingly inaccessible world of contemporary art.


Herb and Dorothy


89 min. / Digibeta

Language: English

Subtitles: (No) www.herbanddorothy.com

Cinematography: Axel Baumann, Rafael de la Uz, Morgan Fallon, Ian Saladyga, Erik Shirai and Vladimir Subotic

Sound: Peter Levin

Editing: Bernadine Colish

Production: Karl Katz, Catherine Price, Megumi Sasaki for Fine Line Media

Distribution: Arthouse Films

Originally a freelance journalist, Megumi Sasaki joined Japan's public broadcaster to work as an anchor, news director, reporter and field producer. In 2002 Megumi founded a production company, Fine Line Media. Born and raised in Japan, Megumi has lived in New York City since 1988. In her career as a freelance print and television journalist she has traveled to over 40 countries. She is fluent in both English and Japanese.