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Fifty Works for Fifty States: New HampshireThe Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection
In 2008, the Hood Museum of Art was selected as the New Hampshire museum recipient of fifty works from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection. Dorothy and Herbert Vogel are somewhat unusual art collectors. Now retired, Herb worked for the U.S. Post Office and Dorothy was a librarian. After their marriage in 1962, they developed a deep interest in the New York contemporary art scene. They began collecting and, using only their civil servants' salaries, acquired over four thousand objects. The Vogels befriended many young artists, many at the beginnings of their careers, and often purchased works on paper in order to store them more easily in their modest apartment. Their collection is strong in minimal and conceptual art, especially drawings, but moves beyond those categories. Much of the Vogels' collection was given to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., but in 2007 they decided to distribute 2,500 works nationally. Dubbed the "50X50 project," they donated fifty works to one institution in each state. The Hood Museum of Art was honored to be the New Hampshire institution designated to receive this important gift.
This summer the museum will showcase the gift to the museum of thirty Japanese and Japanese-inspired contemporary prints, drawings, and ceramics by Joanne and Doug Wise, Class of 1959. This exhibition will be organized by students in Professor Joy Kenseth's History of Museums and Collecting (Art History 82), who will choose the themes and arrange the installation. The course, which was taught during the spring term 2012, looked at the history and evolution of art collecting by both museums curators and private individuals. In keeping with this theme, Joanne Wise presented a talk on the shaping of the present collection to the students in the course.
The installation features work by artists such as Keiko Hara, Hachiro Iizuka, Makato Fujimura, and Yutaka Yoshinaga. Joanne and Doug lived in Japan between 1978 and 1982 and began to collect at that time. Upon moving to Houston, Texas, Joanne began to represent Japanese graphic artists and ceramicists and actively promote their work through a quarterly newsletter and her efforts with the Texas Print Alliance. She states: "The Wise Collection exists to bring people of the world together through greater knowledge and appreciation of Japanese art." The Wises gave a portion of their collection to the museum in 2010, and it has been used ever since for teaching students about Japanese printmaking and drawing.