Rich in Art and Love
Rule 6: Build Relationships
In business, it's hard to overestimate the simple power of a handshake or a face-to-face conversation. In this regard, the Vogels were masters: Over their decades of collecting, the pair built close relationships with hundreds of artists and art world professionals. Ultimately, these relationships bore fruit with a host of unique opportunities.
A good example of this is the pair's friendship with Christo and Jeanne-Claude, two artists who became famous for their huge environmental installations. When they met the pair, the Vogels quickly realized that they couldn't afford any of Christo's art. However, when Jeanne-Claude later needed a pet sitter, she offered the Vogels a free piece of art. "Herbie said, 'No, no, no, we don't want it free," she later recalled. "And I said, well it's not exactly free..." In return for watching the pair's cat for a summer, the Vogels got a collage of the Valley Curtain, one of Christo's most famous works.