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Herb & Dorothy (2008)

tomatometer

96

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 1

While perhaps not as probing as it could have been, Megumi Sasaki's languidly paced documentary is as entertaining as it is inspiring.

94

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 1

While perhaps not as probing as it could have been, Megumi Sasaki's languidly paced documentary is as entertaining as it is inspiring.

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 713

My Rating

Movie Info

The film takes a close look at the historical gift project by the legendary art collector couple, Herbert and Dorothy Vogel, and its impact on art communities around America. Herbert and Dorothy Vogel, a former postal clerk and a librarian, built a world-class collection of Minimal and Conceptual Art with their modest salaries. Over 2000 works were packed into their small NYC apartment, but they never sold a piece for profit. In 1992, they decided to transfer the entire collection to the

Dec 15, 2009

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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (1) | DVD (1)

The movie gives us an eyeful, but the unexamined irony is that the nice old couple can't sell the rest of us on why it's good.

October 21, 2009 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sasaki balances her subjects' yarns with insights into the cultural moment that shaped them and vice-versa, in particular the shift from abstract expressionism to the sparer gestures of minimalist and conceptual art.

July 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If Ripley's Believe It or Not! were still around, Herb and Dorothy Vogel would surely be in it for amassing a world-class art collection on the most ordinary of working-class salaries.

July 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Herb and Dorothy, a documentary by Megumi Sasaki, grows on you just as its subjects do.

July 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's impossible to leave this movie believing that the Vogels are weirdos or naifs. A wealth of artists and curators testify to their strong eye, unwavering enthusiasm, and clear judgment.

July 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You can't hate the film anymore than you can hate Herb and Dorothy. But this is lazy work.

July 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A história da paixão incontrolável do casal Vogel por arte contemporânea é algo não só tocante, mas educativo.

February 21, 2010
Cinema em Cena

A solid and engaging documentary that shows the chasm between art and those that are removed, for various reasons, from its creation and most readily accessible exhibition to be a largely artificial construct.

July 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Shared Darkness
Shared Darkness

As director Megumi Sasaki's leisurely yet absorbing documentary tells it, the crusty postman and the mild librarian emerged as the Fred and Ethel Mertz of modernism, championing the early careers of such artists as Sol LeWitt and Christo.

July 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

When was the last time you saw older protags, or a happily married couple, in American film? In this charming docu, the Vogels recall vividly their experiences in life and art over the past four decades.

July 2, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

As the film progresses, we become captivated by the enchanted existence [Herb and Dorothy Vogel] have made for themselves.

June 12, 2009 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

Herb and Dorothy certainly proves there's more than one way to be an art collector. It just doesn't probe deeply enough and ask thorny questions about the nature of collecting and the nature of art, and how they relate to one another.

June 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Ultimately, the tale is inspiring: Why can't we all be like the Vogels and become great collectors?

June 10, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Press
New York Press

A fascinating, warm and delightfully charming documentary that finds just the right balance between entertaining the audience and provoking them intellectually.

June 6, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

Audience Reviews for Herb & Dorothy

a quirky doc about a new york couple who amassed one of the most impressive collections of contemporary art in america, on the salaries of a librarian and a postal worker. the vogels were compulsive collectors who filled every inch of their small apartment with works purchased from artists they found interesting, before anyone else found them interesting. i had to wonder how they kept their numerous cats from destroying any of their precious works. it's a good thing they never had children! blessed with a good eye and a passion for art, the vogels, once frustrated painters themselves, never dreamed of selling even a single piece, eventually donating it all to the national gallery in washington, so the collection could remain intact and as a gift to the american people. after all, they were public employees all their working lives. they're an adorable couple and much beloved in the new york art world. and they visit their collection once a year.
August 12, 2011
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

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