Dorothy & Herbert An ordinary couple and their extraordinary collection of art

Jackie Azúa Kramer

Book - 2021

"A picture-book biography of renowned art collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, who independently built one of the country's greatest art collections, then donated it to the National Gallery of Art"--

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room j708.009/Kramer Checked In
Petaluma, California : Cameron Kids 2021.
Physical Description
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Ages 5-7.
Grades K-1.
Includes bibliographical references.
Main Author
Jackie Azúa Kramer (author)
Other Authors
Julia Breckenreid (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Dorothy Vogel, a librarian at Brooklyn Public Library, and her husband, postal clerk Herbert Vogel, collected thousands of pieces of art starting in the 1960s. Kramer (I Wish You Knew, 2021) and Breckenreid (An Eye for Color, 2009) take a loving look at the couple's devotion to art and collecting it. Dorothy and Herbert spent days of their honeymoon at the National Gallery, explains the book, and they became enmeshed in the growing artist scene in Manhattan, mentoring artists while becoming steady collectors. Later, they donated their collection to the National ­Gallery—the image of dozens of postal workers lining up to move the contents of their overflowing apartment is especially striking. The rest of the colorful, dynamic illustrations evoking a variety of art styles from the era will draw readers in too; they show the dashing Dorothy and Herbert surrounded by walls and streets teeming with art and artists. Afterwords by Kramer and Breckenreid give more details about the Vogels and offer websites listing the artists included here and where readers can see the Vogels' collection. Grades 2-4. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 2–5—What an odd and enchanting book! For serious students of art or for children who love to pore over "I Spy" pages, these eccentric spreads will fill them with joy. In this true story, Herbert is a postal clerk who rushes off to art class each night. Dorothy works at the Brooklyn Public Library, and she, too, rushes off to class. These two aspiring artists marry and become convinced, over years, that they are meant to be collectors of art. Their lifelong avocation results in over 2,000 works they eventually donate to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. Along the way, they mingle with big names and up and comers, from Christo to Chuck Close, and fill a tiny apartment to bursting. Kramer's well-paced text abbreviates huge passages of time, yet the mood is one of merry discovery, and readers will be glad to be along for the ride. The illustrations are full of art world faces (Breckenreid's website breaks it down for those interested) but also small puzzles, art references, and little clues as to what will come next. VERDICT An eccentric tumble down an unexpectedly accessible bio of two fans who made their passion into a way of life, and just the kind of adventure that many children will find inspiring.—Kimberly Olson Fakih, School Library Journal Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"A picture-book biography of renowned art collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, who independently built one of the country's greatest art collections, then donated it to the National Gallery of Art"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A picture book biography about an ordinary New York City couple and their extraordinary collection of art In the heart of Manhattan lived a librarian and a postal clerk who loved art so much that they collected it. Over the years, Dorothy and Herbert brought home hundreds of works of art—from little-known SoHo artists to luminaries such as Chuck Close and Christo and Jeanne-Claude—to their small, empty-walled apartment, much to the curiosity and delight of their eight cats and tank of fish. Their passion for art and support of artists was so impressive, Dorothy and Herbert became famous themselves. And when they gifted their extraordinary collection to the National Gallery of Art, their art became ours, inspiring new generations of artists.