The Wall Street Journal examined the Vogel gift of 50 works to 50 states to see how it works in practice. They focused on Texas where the Blanton museum is the recipient:
Their preference for drawings and other preliminary-stage work reflected not merely budgetary constraints but an overarching interest in an artist’s process. In the documentary, Chuck Close recalls that they liked “the most unlikable, difficult and least decorative work,” recounting how excited they were to get a photo he’d used to make a painting—it was lying on his studio floor with a wad of masking tape stuck to it. (The Vogels subsequently framed the photo to accommodate the tape.) […]
The concept was “a mini-Vogel collection for each state,” explains Ms. Fine. “There were some artists—Tuttle, for example—for whom there was enough for everyone to get at least one work. Each museum got about 40 drawings and 10 paintings or objects.” Gifts went first to museums with whom the Vogels had some personal connection over the years, Dorothy explained. […] So, how does “a mini-Vogel collection” move from the shipping crate to the permanent collection of, say, a Blanton Museum? Unlike some donors, the Vogels imposed only two minimal conditions to their gift: that the entire gift be exhibited together once within five years, and that it be deaccessioned only as a whole. “However, with any collection come responsibilities,” says Jonathan Bober, the Blanton’s curator of prints, drawings and European paintings. “The proper care, feeding and handling of a collection of any kind will involve some money” whether for staff or space.
Works on paper, Mr. Bober explained, are mostly stored flat in drawers or storage boxes and, though they require rotation—optimally receiving only two months of exposure in a year at reduced illumination—they do not pose the display or storage burden that paintings or sculpture do. The Vogel Collection, consisting mostly of small to moderate-size works on paper will pose no display or storage problems for the Blanton, which has plenty of space in its large three-year-old building.
A Gift for Every State (Wall Street Journal)