Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

The Jumeau 201

The Jumeau 201
Courtesy Theriault's and Antique Doll Collector Magazine

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

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Tuxedo and Bangles

Tuxedo and Bangles

A History of Metal Dolls

A History of Metal Dolls
Now on Alibris.com and In Print! The First Book of its Kind

Alice, Commemorative Edition

Alice, Commemorative Edition
Courtesy, R. John Wright

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Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory

Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory
Her Grace wishes us all a Merry Christmas!

Annabelle

Annabelle

Emma Emmeline

Emma Emmeline
Our New Addition/fond of stuffed toys

Cloth Clown

Cloth Clown

Native American Art

Native American Art

the triplets

the triplets

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby
Bought Athens on the street

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Sand Baby Swirls!

Sand Baby Swirls!
By Glenda Rolle, courtesy, the Artist

Glenda's Logo

Glenda's Logo
Also, a link to her site

Sand Baby Castaway

Sand Baby Castaway
By Glenda Rolle, Courtesy the Artist

A French Friend

A French Friend

Mickey

Mickey
From our friends at The Fennimore Museum

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll
British Museum, Child's Tomb

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll
Among first "Toys?"

ushabti

ushabti
Egyptian Tomb Doll 18th Dynasty

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

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Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase

Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase
Courtesy, Antique Daughter

Judge Peep

Judge Peep

Hakata Doll Artist at Work

Hakata Doll Artist at Work
From the Museum Collection

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Japanese Costume Barbies

Japanese Costume Barbies
Samurai Ken

Etienne

Etienne
A Little Girl

Happy Heart Day

Happy Heart Day

From "Dolls"

From "Dolls"
A Favorite Doll Book

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Jenny Wren

Jenny Wren
Ultimate Doll Restorer

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Baby Boo 1960s

Baby Boo 1960s
Reclaimed and Restored as a childhood Sabrina the Witch with Meow Meow

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum
L to R: K*R /celluloid head, all bisque Artist Googly, 14 in. vinyl inuit sixties, early celluloid Skookum type.

Two More Rescued Dolls

Two More Rescued Dolls
Late Sixties Vinyl: L to R: Probably Horseman, all vinyl, jointed. New wig. R: Effanbee, probably Muffy, mid sixties. New wig and new clothing on both. About 12 inches high.

Restored Italian Baby Doll

Restored Italian Baby Doll
One of Dr. E's Rescued Residents

Dolls on Display

Dolls on Display
L to R: Nutcrackers, Danish Troll, HItty and her book, Patent Washable, Mechanical Minstrel, Creche figure, M. Alexander Swiss. Center is a German mechanical bear on the piano. Background is a bisque German costume doll.

A Few Friends

A Few Friends
These dolls are Old German and Nutcrackers from Dr. E's Museum. They are on loan to another local museum for the holidays.

Vintage Collage

Vintage Collage
Public Domain Art

The Merry Wanderer

The Merry Wanderer
Courtesy R. John Wright, The Hummel Collection

The Fennimore Doll Museum

The Fennimore Doll Museum

Robert

Robert
A Haunted Doll with a Story

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

The Cody Jumeau

The Cody Jumeau
Long-faced or Jumeau Triste

German Princesses

German Princesses
GAHC 2005

A Little PowerRanger

A Little PowerRanger
Halloween 2004

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The Island of the Dolls
Shrine to Dolls in Mexico

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Based on the Nutshell Series of Death
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A lovely dress

A lovely dress

Raggedy Ann

Raggedy Ann
A few friends in cloth!

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI
Pixar Animator's Collection

Little PM sisters

Little PM sisters
Recent eBay finds

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Really old Dolls!

Really old Dolls!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Spirit of Collecting- The Vogels; Legends in their Own Time

I've loved this couple since the first time I saw them on 60 Minutes. Read on, and be inspired. Hoarders TV Show, Take That!!! The Prom Queen of P.S. 1 Posted by Anna Altman Dorothy and Herbert Vogel led the sort of life that sounds like a New York legend: two state employees, living on less than fifty thousand dollars a year, manage to amass a collection of more than four thousand works of contemporary art. It’s hard to believe such a feat would be economically possible, but the Vogels were early enthusiasts who collected what was at first unpopular—inaccessible minimalist and conceptual works—and would now be worth millions. Not everyone in their collection was widely known, but many were: Richard Tuttle, Sol LeWitt, Jeanne-Claude and Christo. The Vogels themselves were minor celebrities, known by art-world regulars around the city, and they were beloved: at a 1976 event to benefit P.S. 1, the founder, Alanna Heiss, threw a prom. There was a ballot for prom king and queen, and Herb and Dorothy won. The story of the Vogels—the modest, unassuming, middle-class Vogels—and their collection took on mythic proportions. They were said to live in a one-bedroom apartment (true) that was rent-controlled (not true) and filled to the gills with paintings, drawings, sculptures, and ephemera (true). They stashed artworks by postwar luminaries in the oven (not true) and under the bed (true). Chuck Close said on film that every time he went to their house, there was more work crammed in (true), and owing to the stacks under the furniture “the bed just kept getting higher and higher” (not true). But it is true that Dorothy and Herb went to the National Gallery on their honeymoon, that they both took painting classes early in their relationship but gave that up in favor of collecting, and that they spent the fifty years of their marriage looking at, loving, and buying art. The Vogels were the subject of a touching documentary, “Herb and Dorothy,” that was released in 2008. The film shows how utterly their marriage revolved around artists and gallery visits, until 1990, when the Vogels decided it was time to give their collection away to a stewarding institution; they chose the National Gallery. Then, with a small annuity from the National Gallery, they just went on collecting. By the time the film’s director, Megumi Sasaki, began filming, the Vogels were a favorite story among the gossiping crowds at art galleries. Lucio Pozzi recalled on camera how a friend had pointed to the Vogels at an opening and said, in a whisper, “You see those two people? You would never guess it, but they are two of the biggest collectors of new art in New York.” But Sasaki captures something much more fundamental than a charming story. As art lovers, the Vogels were unstoppable: they were indefatigable viewers and collectors and observers. Dorothy’s upbeat chatter balanced Herb’s penetrating gaze, and both were precise and specific in their assessments. At the opening of their friend Robert Mangold’s exhibition at Pace Wildenstein, in 2007, Dorothy commented that the new work presented a departure from his usual palette, but his identity had remained the same. Later, in a shot of the couple visiting the National Gallery to discuss their collection, Herb immediately walks over to a small crushed-car sculpture by John Chamberlain, the first work that the Vogels acquired together, and points out that the curators have it upside down. Last Tuesday, a second documentary, entitled “Herb and Dorothy 50x50,” had its world première at the Whitney Museum. The film, also by Sasaki, continues where the first one left off, but much has changed in the Vogels’ lives. Their art has been transferred to the National Gallery, and from there divided into packages of fifty artworks, to be distributed to fifty museums in each of the fifty states. Herb and Dorothy are no longer collecting, and are now busy participating in each museum’s inaugural exhibition of the collection. What’s most striking about the second installment of the documentary, though, is the Vogels’ subdued mood. The film begins in 2008, when Herb is eighty-five years old. He can still walk, but his energy is diminished, so Dorothy pushes him in a wheelchair, chattering to him in her typically cheerful way. For most of the film, Herb is silent, his only response a quick handshake for those who approach him. At one point, a reporter asks him how it feels to see his collection hung in the Delaware Art Museum. “It’s a wonderful feeling,” he responds, and that’s it. Dorothy tells the reporter she should be proud; Herb hardly says much of anything anymore. Herb passed away in July, 2012, at the age of eighty-nine. For the last years of his life, Herb was sick and confined to a wheelchair; his memory was fading. Toward the end of the second film, Herb reflects on their legacy: “What we did then is now art history,” he says. Dorothy also speaks in an elegiac tone: “We had a good time, and our lives have completely changed,” she says. “My main job now is taking care of him.” At the end of the film, after Herb’s death, Dorothy declares that her days of collecting are over. Last week, Dorothy attended the screening alone, and when an audience member asked her what artwork she missed most, she responded, “I just really miss Herbie.” A few days later, over lunch in the MOMA café, Dorothy reiterated that she wasn’t collecting anymore. “It was something we did together, and I don’t want to water it down by continuing on without him.” She gave plenty of reasons why: she had spent years caring for Herb when he was too ill to see art, and she had lost her eye for it; she was interested in other things now, like theatre matinées and Maeve Binchy and redecorating her apartment. She was travelling, too: to Los Angeles, to see her collection installed at L.A. MOCA; to Japan, for screenings of the second film. She was reluctant to dwell on the past, and questions about any specific artworks in the collection drew clipped responses. There were no standout pieces; nothing held particular sentimental value. (The Vogels didn’t have any children, and Dorothy allowed that they loved all of their artworks equally, “as if they were children.”) They never considered selling, and they never considered ceasing to collect. That was their life together, and Dorothy wasn’t interested in reëvaluating it. In fact, she seemed determined to draw a line below it. The Vogels’ story is unusual simply for its economics—a librarian and a postal clerk rub shoulders with the moneyed, the luxurious, and the quirky—but it’s the portrait of their marriage in Sasaki’s films that is most enduring. The collection was their life’s work, and they spent the last years of their marriage, and Herb’s life, ensuring that it was transferred to institutions that could care for it in perpetuity. Herb and Dorothy had gone to galleries together every Saturday until Herb was too sick to continue. Now, “When Saturday comes, it’s pretty lonely,” Dorothy admitted. I had asked Dorothy if she would see an exhibition with me, and initially she declined. The Armory Fair is too exhausting; she doesn’t keep up with what is going on in Chelsea; the artists she had been friends with have mostly moved away; and, besides, Herb was the one who really knew about art. But she agreed to meet me at MOMA because she’s a member there, and because the “Inventing Abstraction” show appealed to her. She had already seen the exhibition once, but after lunch she agreed to take another quick spin through. Dorothy led me straight to works by Robert and Sonia Delaunay. She loved these, she said; the colors appealed to her, and I agreed. I remarked that one reminded me of Kandinsky, and asked if she liked his work. She said that she did, and recalled that, when she was single and working at the Brooklyn Public Library, she borrowed a reproduction of a Kandinsky painting for her home. Herb had been impressed by it during their courtship. (Less so by her print of a Chagall painting, she said.) She also liked the Futurists, Giacomo Balla in particular, but it was Kazimir Malevich and the Suprematists that she gravitated toward. These, she said, were the painters that “influenced me most strongly” when she was painting. In fact, that was more her style than Herb’s; she was interested in more “hard edge” work, while he was more “flamboyant.” There had been a division of labor between them: she would pick out the works they purchased from Sol LeWitt, known for his minimalist wall drawings, and he would choose among Lynda Benglis’s organic, expressive pieces. Past the Suprematists were works by Mondrian and the De Stijl group. Among them were paintings and sculptures by a Belgian named Georges Vantongerloo, whose work she hadn’t noticed during her first visit. One sculpture in particular appealed: it was a diminutive wooden triptych, with side panels painted in an irregular grid of white and colored rectangles. The central panel was a three-dimensional wood relief, left unpainted, that echoed the pattern of the squares on either side. If Mondrian had made a Tangram puzzle, it would look something like this. It was one of those works in an exhibition that are entirely unanticipated, but end up being the most memorable and beloved. Dorothy soon told me she was feeling tired, and so we walked toward the exit. She was glad we had come: “It’s good to have somewhere to go, to get out of the house.” Photograph by Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times/Redux Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/03/the-prom-queen-of-ps-1.html?printable=true¤tPage=all#ixzz2OfaWP9tk

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