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Vogel Collection and Andy Warhol Polaroids at PAFA

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) presents two simultaneous exhibitions featuring gifts from Dorothy and Herbert Vogel and the The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States
In 1992, Herbert and Dorothy Vogel pledged more than 2,000 paintings, drawings, and sculptures from their collection to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Subsequently, under the administration of the National Gallery, they have set about distributing a further 2,500 works to museums across the country. PAFA is proud to have been selected as the museum in Pennsylvania to receive fifty works from the Vogel Collection and this exhibition offers visitors the first opportunity to enjoy this gift.

The Vogel Collection has been described as unique among collections of contemporary art, both for the character and breadth of the objects and for the individuals who created it. Herbert Vogel (b. 1922) spent most of his working life as an employee of the United States Postal Service and Dorothy Vogel (b. 1935) was a reference librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. Setting their collecting priorities above those of personal comfort, the couple used Dorothy's salary to cover the expenses of daily life and devoted Herbert's salary to the acquisition of contemporary art. With the exception of the collection formed by their friend, artist Sol LeWitt, no other known private collection of similar work in Europe or America rivals the range, complexity, and quality of the art the Vogels acquired.

The presentation of The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States is an opportunity for PAFA visitors to explore the breadth of the collectors’ tastes and experience their passion for contemporary art. While the best-known aspects of the Vogels’ interests are minimal and conceptual art, their collecting also encompasses works of a figurative and expressionist nature. As the first collectors to buy work by many artists, the Vogels offered encouragement at the start of the careers of several figures who went on to achieve considerable acclaim. Among the 31 artists represented by the 50 works given to PAFA are important figures like Robert Barry, Lynda Benglis, Lucio Pozzi, Edda Renouf, Nam June Paik, and Richard Tuttle.

Andy Warhol Polaroids and Black & White Prints
In 2008, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, in an unprecedented program to honor its 20th anniversary, initiated the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program in order to make substantial gifts of Warhol’s photographic works to university and college museums, galleries, and art collections across the United States.

Chosen as one of the recipients, PAFA presents original Andy Warhol works that date from the period of the his life when he was involved in more explicitly commercial enterprises, from magazine publishing (he started Interview magazine in 1969) to producing television shows and music videos, these works represent two important aspects of Warhol’s practice. Whereas he used black and white photographs as a visual diary to document people, places, and events in his everyday life, the Polaroid portraits served as studies from which he also developed his more prominent paintings and silkscreen works. Warhol was fascinated with glamour and fame, and through his portraits he produced iconic, idealized images of the individual.

Living in a world of celebrity and documenting its ever-changing cast of characters with the simplest of tools, Warhol recorded the known and the unknown, giving life to his own aphorism that “in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”

Among the Polaroids are images of starlet Pia Zadora, singer Paul Anka, art collectors Kimiko Powers and Joan Sonnabend, artist Keith Haring. The black and white photographs include shots of Liza Minnelli, curator Henry Geldzahler, and artist Keith Haring, among many others.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts | Dorothy and Herbert Vogel | The Andy Warhol Foundation |

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