Art This Week Bios: Valley House GalleryKevin Vogel Interview
Episode 1-October 15, 2014
Our second series of interviews for Art This Week Bios explores the history of Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden. The first incarnation of Valley House opened on April 9, 1951 as Betty McLean Gallery in Preston Center (near Preston Road and Northwest Highway). Started by Betty McLean, who funded it, and Donald Vogel, the Gallery Director, it hosted a mix of Texas artists, and national and International artists. From Bror Utter and Kelly Fearing to Henri Matisse and Alexander Calder, the gallery brought some of the most important works of art to Dallas at that time.
By the time the Betty McLean Gallery closed, Donald had moved his then growing family north to the dirt road Spring Valley. It was there he decided to open the gallery and build a frame shop. They opened as Valley House Gallery in 1954 and continued to show the same artists Betty McLean Gallery had shown. Donald continued to bring major exhibitions to north Dallas at Valley House, including Charles Umlauf, Henry Moore and Georges Rouault.
For our first episode, we speak with gallery President Kevin Vogel about his father, Donald, and the early history of Valley House Gallery.
An important historical document is Donald’s memoir, Memories and Images: The World of Donald Vogel and Valley House Gallery. It tells the story of his own life and his personal experiences running the gallery. There are a couple of important things that come out of reading the book. First, it gives a sense of what the Dallas art scene was like during the middle decades of the 1900s. He was working with many of the key figures of the scene, including major museum directors and staff. Second, he also worked with many of the important Texas artists from that era. He constantly showed and supported the contemporary Texas artists, something that Valley House Gallery continues to do today. A review of the memoir at Texas Monthly can be found here.
An article from the Dallas Morning News on the history of the gallery can be found here.
A 2012 article from the Dallas Morning News on Betty Blake (then Betty McLean) can be found here.
To watch the full interview with Kevin, click here.
Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden
6616 Spring Valley Road
Dallas, Texas 75254-8635