Saturday, September 11, 2010


We recently watched “Herb and Dorothy” a documentary about Herb and Dorothy Vogel. They are art collectors, now in their 90’s, with a passion for minimalist and conceptual art, but also for post minimalist and abstract expressionist work.
He was a postal clerk, she a librarian, living in Manhattan. Ever since very early in their marriage, they have collected art. They decided to live on her salary and use his to acquire artwork. They visited galleries and studios, developing close friendships with many artists who would later go on to be universally acclaimed – Robert Barry, Sol LeWitt, Richard Tuttle.
They didn’t collect art as an investment – indeed they made a decision to never sell anything they had bought. They collected because it was a passion – it was their life’s work. They had two criteria for selecting work: they both had to like it and it had to fit in their modest one bedroom apartment.
They collected well over 4,000 pieces of work. Over 1000 are now in the National Gallery of Art (they chose that institution because it has a policy of not selling its work and because it is free to the public). But they had far too many pieces for the National Gallery. So they established “fifty works for fifty states” – giving an institution in each state 50 pieces of art.
Inspirational! Read more here:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

end of the summer

I love this end of the summer season in the flower gardens. The end is near, so I no longer feel compelled to pull every weed or bit of crabgrass – I now pull up only those weeds that dwarf the flowers or threaten to take over the garden. Fallen leaves begin to blow into the beds. The purple morning glory has ventured across the garden and mixes with the basil and the roses. In the spring, I wonder why I plant marigolds, and in the fall I remember, for now they are the most brilliant players. Yellow zinnias and pink petunias have grown long and leggy, and the lily gives one last squeak of a blossom. A few sunflowers still blossom, but most have become places for the birds to perch and feed.
Whatever early May plan I had for the garden is forgotten – whether it was a success or not no longer matters. The chrysanthemums begin to show color, but aside from the morning glories and marigolds, everything else is gasping its last.
It’s a time of acceptance - of appreciating the beauty that is there and overlooking the rest. It’s a welcome contrast to life at the church, where the fall brings more to do and greater expectations. I love this season in the flower garden.