ALPism #3

Big things have small beginnings: Considering the Vogel Collection

by Bryan Faller

Herb & Dorothy Vogel were extraordinarily unusual collectors. They truly loved the art they collected, as well as the relationships they cultivated with the artists they patronized. The world they created for themselves seemed to be made up of studio visit after studio visit with many of the New York artists who would define the art of the second half of the twentieth century. The Vogel’s were different than most collectors in that they were both civil servants and therefore of relatively little affluence. Herb worked for the United States Postal Service. His salary which peaked at $23,000 annually, was used to purchase art. Dorothy was a librarian for the Brooklyn Public Library, and her salary covered the couple’s living expenses.

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ALPism #2

Under-erasure: On the Historical Record

by Saul Ostrow

What I’m interested in, are those artists who come to exist just out of sight, the nearly erased — the ones who have become under-known yet persist as a trace in memory. These artists known/not known are different than the vast majority who were never known outside their circle of friends — those are the forever lost. Sometimes, a spectral artist comes to be judged to having been prescient, deemed to have skipped a step, or had intuitively taken a left turn while everyone else in the pack turned right. By any manner of circumstances, their work came to be misunderstood, misrepresented, and marginalized, yet it restively lingers on in the margins awaiting new critical perspectives. These artists may be recalled, which ends their days as phantoms and exiles. Having become visible again, their position becomes self-evident and they come to represent missed opportunities — making explicit that things could have been otherwise — that there are alternatives histories.

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ALPism #1

Art Versus Archive: Where do we draw the line?

by Kathy Battista

Any curator or researcher has their archival discovery stories of varying dramatic scale: from Carmen Bambach discovering a previously unattributed Michelangelo drawing to coming across hand-printed photographs or sketches strewn in the draws of artists. While this is exciting for a researcher, it also brings up some important issues and questions around the archive or “artist’s papers” as they are often called.

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