*The Art Of Collecting, by Anna Kilbridge How to Buy Art For Life*
In 1992, my first year studying Art History at Vassar, I read an unbelievable article about a 10 million dollar art donation to the National Gallery of Art in Washington. It’s not often you hear about a 10 million dollar donation. Unheard of, that it’s made by a couple that resides in a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan, and jointly earns less than $50,000 a year. I read on in disbelief. I couldn’t imagine paying the rent, let alone buying Christos. The Vogels, however, did.
Over three decades, Herbert and Dorothy Vogel, a retired postal clerk and librarian, collected over 2,000 contemporary paintings, sculptures and drawings. Their collection comprised works by the late 20th century’s best known artists, including John Cage, Christo and Donald Judd, to just name a few.
At the time, I imagined the Vogels as geniuses. After all, how else could two people, not even artists themselves, build one of the most respected contemporary art collections on just one modest salary? Much to my surprise, the Vogel’s process was nearly identical to the one advised to me by gallery owner after gallery owner, collector after collector as I researched this article asking San Francisco’s experts in emerging art on how one should start and build a collection. There was a great consistency in all the recommendations on how to go about building a collection on a budget.
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