Art Film Screening

artfilmscreeningQ&A with Filmmaker Megumi Sasaki & Star Dorothy Vogel following the screening
Saturday August 2, 4:30-7pm
All ticket holders

Developed as the follow-up film to Megumi Sasaki’s award-winning documentary HERB & DOROTHY (2008) that moved millions of art-lovers worldwide, HERB & DOROTHY 50X50 captures the last chapter of the Vogel’s extraordinary life and their gift to the nation, raising various questions on art, and what it takes to support art in today’s society.

In 2008, legendary art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel made an announcement that stunned the art world. Known and loved as a retired postal worker (Herb) and librarian (Dorothy) who built a world-class art collection on their humble salaries, the Vogels launched a national gift project with the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington DC that would constitute one of the largest gifts in the history of American art: to give a total of 2,500 artworks to museums in all fifty states.

AA film

This came sixteen years after the Vogels had transferred their entire collection to NGA, the majority as a gift, making headlines in 1992. During those years at the NGA, the collection had grown to nearly 5,000 pieces, too large for any one museum to contain. As a solution, a national gift project titled The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States was conceived. Though their collection was now worth millions of dollars, the couple did not sell a single piece, instead giving fifty works to one museum in every state. Having worked their whole lives as civil servants, their wish was to give back to the people of the United States.

Two years ago, on July 22, 2012, Dorothy declared their collection closed after the passing of her husband Herb. Dorothy works to create a living tribute to their partnership, the collection they created together, and the overwhelmingly positive legacy they have left on the American art world for generations to come.

magumi sasaki
Filmmaker, Magumi Sasaki

Meet the Fimmaker:
MEGUMI SASAKI, Director & Producer

Megumi began her career as journalist for print media before joining NHK, Japan’s sole public broadcaster (equivalent to BBC in UK) in 1992. She worked both in front and behind the camera, as anchor, reporter and news director for a popular morning news program called Ohayo Nippon.

In 2002, Megumi founded a production company, Fine Line Media, to streamline ongoing commitments to Japanese television while facilitating her new interest in feature documentary projects. HERB & DOROTHY is the first of these projects, a labor of love for which Megumi is both director and producer.

HERB & DOROTHY enjoyed both national and international success, winning numerous US film festival awards in 2008 and 2009 including at Hamptons International Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival, and SILVERDOCS. Internationally, the film had a wide theatrical release and was invited to a number of art fairs including Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Fair Tokyo, and Art Taipei. In Japan, Megumi and a group of volunteers self-distributed the film and set the 2010 box office record for a documentary film in the country.

In 2013, Megumi completed the highly anticipated follow-up documentary to HERB & DOROTHY titled HERB & DOROTHY 50X50, which focuses on the next (and final) chapter in the lives of legendary art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel. The majority of the film’s funds were raised by crowdsourcing in both the US and Japan, raising a combined $220,000 from nearly 2,000 supporters around the world. The film made headlines as the most successful crowdsourcing film project ever in Japan, and kicked off a countrywide theatrical release in Spring 2013.

Meet Dorothy Vogel

In 2008, legendary art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel made an announcement that stunned the art world. Known and loved as a retired postal worker (Herb) and librarian (Dorothy) who built a world-class art collection on their humble salaries, the Vogels launched a national gift project with the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington DC that would constitute one of the largest gifts in the history of American art: to give a total of 2,500 artworks to museums in all fifty states.

This came sixteen years after the Vogels had transferred their entire collection to NGA, the majority as a gift, making headlines in 1992. During those years at the NGA, the collection had grown to nearly 5,000 pieces, too large for any one museum to contain. As a solution, a national gift project titled The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States was conceived.

Though their collection was worth millions of dollars, the couple did not sell a single piece, instead giving fifty works to one museum in every state. Having worked their whole lives as civil servants, their wish was to give back to the people of the United States.

A ‘road movie’ through the art world, the film takes the audience on a journey across the US to eleven recipient museums, from Honolulu to Fargo, meeting curators and visitors, and introduces famous (often controversial) artists, as well as unknown favorites of Herb and Dorothy.

The Vogels’ unyielding eye and instinct have created one of America’s great treasures. But in July of 2012, Dorothy declared their collection closed after the passing of her husband Herb. She now works to create a living tribute to their partnership, the collection they created together, and the overwhelmingly positive legacy they have left on the American art world for generations to come.

Developed as the follow-up film to Megumi Sasaki’s award-winning documentary HERB & DOROTHY (2008) that moved millions of art-lovers worldwide, HERB & DOROTHY 50X50 captures the last chapter of the Vogel’s extraordinary life and their gift to the nation, raising various questions on art, and what it takes to support art in today’s society.