Thrice-told tales, and worse

One of the worst things about mainstream journalism is the herd mentality. Sad to see it affecting the documentary world, too. Here we have a new film about Herb and Dorothy Vogel, the adorable, thoroughly middle-class couple who began collecting serious art in the 1960s. Persistence and charm paid off, and over the decades they amassed an astonishingly rich trove of now-invaluable art. But their story has been told, in newspapers, magazines, and on television. If you tell it again, tell it better. Don’t just retell it, with the usual clichés. This one, sadly, is just for bird lovers.

2 Comments

Filed under Art, Documentary, film, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Thrice-told tales, and worse

  1. There was an interesting review of the movie in the Washington Post, essentially saying that the art world needs the Vogel story as a counterpoint to the generally held suspicion that contemporary collecting is a kind of “confidence game”…and that explains the mantra-like repetition. Of interest to me (I am a conservator in a contem. art mus.) is the difference between the sensibility of the movie critics in the Post and that of the art critic. The former cut to the chase (both pro- and con-) and easily engage humor, especially – not surprisingly -the acerbic variety; the latter avoids humor, adopting an elusive and dreamy reverence. In other words, one (sounds to me) journalistic and the other academic.

    CB

    • philipkennicott

      That “interesting review” was, I believe, the one I wrote, and the one that is linked to above (click on “new film”). But while claiming credit for the review, I hate to be placed in the “journalist” category if that means losing claim to “elusive and dreamy reverence.” I can be dreamy. I can be reverent. I can be very, very elusive.

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