Vanger, 1981 by Barbara Schwartz

A Must See Exhibit in Honolulu

As I stepped outside the Honolulu Academy of Arts and into the warm Hawaii sun, I felt an inner glow of inspiration by what I had just seen. And if you’re in Honolulu between now and May 22, I think Exquisitely Modern: 50 Works from Herbert and Dorothy Vogel will have the same impact on you.

This is more than an art exhibit. It’s the story of a middle class couple from Brooklyn, Herb and Dorothy, who understood the power of connection, friendship and networking before they became today’s buzz words. Their life also reminds us that art collecting transcends economic status. Art is for everyone.

Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, 1975

How did a Herb, a postal clerk and Dorothy, a public librarian, collect one of the most remarkable collections of contemporary art in America for their small one bedroom Brooklyn apartment?

It took foresight, an artistic eye and developing personal friendships with artists who later came to international acclaim.

I think it also took every inch of wall space in their small apartment. According to the Vogels, their intention was not to build “a collection” but rather to find works that they wanted to live with. And what a collection it became with 4,000 pieces.

With no space left in their apartment, they decided to share their collection with all of us. A museum in each state was designated to receive 50 works from Herbert and Dorothy Vogel’s collection of drawings, paintings, objects, prints and photography.

Hawaii received 50 pieces by American Artists of international significance including Robert Barry, Bill Jensen, Mark Kostabi, Joel Perlman, David Reed, Judy Rifka, and Richard Tuttle.

To see what your state received, you can visit the Vogel 50×50 website. This may be an excuse to go on a road trip and visit each state’s collection. Perhaps Hawaii will be your first stop. Keep following us for the best airfare and hotel deals to bring you to our islands to enjoy the culture and all that Hawaii has to offer.


Honolulu Academy of Arts is located at 900 South Beretania Street. General admission is $10. A $5.00 admission is charged to seniors (62+), military and students (13+). Hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10am to 4:30pm and Sunday from 1-5pm. Call 808-532-8700 for information or visit

Art Photo credit: Vanger, 1981 by Barbara Schwartz


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