The Vogels – PBS Documentary

When most people think about collecting art, they think of millionaire/billionaires with huge amounts of disposable income that enables them to indulge in art and also cement their status as someone who has ‘made it’.

The cryptoart scene has already created a stir amongst the art community, with collectors suddenly wanting a piece of the action and Beeple’s ‘The First 5,000Days’ currently sitting at a bid of $2.2 million dollars (26 February 2021). While this gives cryptoart much needed recognition within the traditional art market, Christie’s are an elite organisation that cater for a high end art buying public.

So what of the artist who has built up a portfolio of work, but isn’t reaching these incredible heights, or the young artist setting out on their cryptoart career on a cryptoart platform.

This is hopefully where the cryptoart collectors can build a diverse portfolio of work, in the hope that they might have some work in their collection that in 5 years time, will be worth x10 or x100 it’s initial purchase price. Looking around the various platforms and cryptoart Twitter feeds, there are hundreds if not thousands of talented artists currently working on their latest cryptoart project.

This is where I introduce Herb and Dorothy Vogel

Over 30 years, a retired postal worker and his wife, a retired librarian, have amassed one of the world’s great collections of avant-garde art. But rather than cash in, Herb and Dorothy Vogel are donating all 2,000 pieces to the National Gallery of Art.


Herb and Dorothy were essentially civil servants who lived off Dorothy’s salary, while they collected art by up and coming artists via Herb’s salary as a U.S. postal worker. Their tiny New York apartment hosted such a huge art collection that their donation to the National Gallery of Art required multiple removal vans to deliver them. Thankfully we don’t have to live with such a huge volume of physical material in the cryptoart world, but hopefully you have a sense of what these two collectors achieved in the space of 30 years. I invite you to watch the 1995 PBS documentary on the Vogels and their collection. It’s truly humbling and inspiring, and shows what can be achieved with perserverance and love for art.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we all follow their example and gift our entire cryptoart collection to National Galleries, or other public bodies, but rather the message I’m trying to deliver is collect the work of a variety of cryptoartists. Be a champion for their work, and someday that work may repay you many times over, and if you’re worried that it won’t follow the advice of gmoney:

Stick to things that you like. Support those artists. You want them to keep making those things you enjoy, so you need to make sure they can do it.