Herb & Dorothy 50/50


Documentary “Herb & Dorothy 50×50” is a bittersweet follow-up to the 2009 documentary, “Herb & Dorothy,” and continues the story of art lovers Herb and Dorothy Vogel, who have spent a majority of their lives and salaries collecting contemporary art.

The movie picks up on the couple as they divvy up and distribute a large portion of their art collection, tackling one of the largest art donation projects aptly named 50×50, for 50 pieces donated to museums in all fifty states.

The Vogel’s are an endearing pair, collecting for the love of it all and not to beef up their net worth. They do it simply because they adore it, and it makes them all the more watchable. Dorothy is personable, chatty and easy to relate to alongside her husband Herb, who is content to be the quieter of the two in this installment yet still manages to be preciously gruff. Director Megumi Sasaki captures the two grappling with emotions as they sift through hundreds of pieces they’ve lived so closely with for so many years and also takes the time to showcase the art along with several artists, measuring their affinity for the project as well as the struggle to let go of their work.

This second installment of the Vogel’s feels less personal than the previous documentary, and focuses more on the art than the couple, yet it’s still sweet, simple, and short enough to enjoy if you’re an art lover or a fan of the previous documentary.

If you’re neither, you might be counting the minutes.