How She Met Herb – We’ll Let Dorothy Tell You

By Kiki Murai

ifc center

Our film tops the marquee

Hello friends!

As you know, this past weekend, we had the great fortune of premiering our film HERB & DOROTHY 50X50 at the famous IFC Center in New York City. The sun beamed down gently, the chilly air smelled of fall, and we all held our breaths and hoped for the best…

And what we got was…this.



Our shows were filled completely on Friday and Saturday nights…and the evening(s) included this standing ovation as Dorothy and Megumi walked into the theater after the show.

We were so touched.  Floored, I tell you!

Thank you so much to everyone who came to the theater (and brought their friends and parents and relatives and english teachers), and to those of you who helped spread the word from across the country, who kept their fingers crossed for us.

We all did it.

We’ve just received word that our run has been extended one more week! See here? More dates! You see, ours was supposed to be a limited engagement of just one week, but thanks to you, we’re still here!

dorothy & megumi

 Dorothy and Megumi during the Q&A

Megumi and Dorothy thank you. From their hearts, they truly do.

In fact, that’s the first thing they said as they sat down in front of the Saturday night audience for an engaged session of questions and answers.

Here’s an excerpt of the discussion that I’ve broken up into parts for your reading pleasure. Part 2 will come tomorrow!

Take it away, audience!  There is hardly a question these two will not answer.

Q:  How do you feel about giving all your works away?

Dorothy: As you get older, you have to think of what to do with it, because you can’t hold onto it forever, and it was important that we find a good home. That’s the responsibility of a collector to think of what’s going to happen. We unfortunately don’t have children, to leave works for them, so this was the best thing we could do – to give them to different institutions who can properly take care of it, and show it, and take responsibility for it.
I feel good about it.


Q: Did you and Herby ever miss creating art after you began collecting?

Dorothy: We stopped because I really think at the time, we weren’t as good as other people were. But looking at his work now, I think, he wasn’t that bad (laughs). I’m really kind of sorry I sort of discouraged him. We really enjoyed buying art, enjoyed going to the studios, and it was just too much. We couldn’t paint ourselves and work full-time jobs and do what we had to do, so that’s [giving up making art] something we just decided to do.

His paintings as I said – two of them are up in my apartment now, I’m giving a few to my sister-in-law, she’s going to give them to her children, and a few of them are going into the archives at the National Gallery. So eventually, people will be able to SEE his works. So I’m not discarding them at all. His works will be on display if anybody wanted to see them.

during q&a


Q: Did you keep a list (inventory) as you were collecting, or was it uncatalogued until you gave the collection away?

Dorothy: I originally started a very good catalogue of cards, and I had a very good system. And then we started working with someone who wanted to write a book about the collection, and she took all my cards and put them in notebooks. And then it got hard to keep up, because we bought so much so fast, that it became very disorganized. So finally we took all the works to the National Gallery, and they did all the inventory there.

So, I tried, but when you get so much at one time and you lead a busy life, it’s hard to be that…organized. We did the best we could.

dorothy closeup


Q: How is the cat?

Dorothy: Only one cat now. Archie’s now 16 years old and he has high blood pressure (audience laughs) and he has a heart murmur and kidney disease, so he’s an elderly cat who needs medicine and he’s still lovable, he’s still active, but he’s getting old and he’s in his later years, I’m afraid. But he’s still a beautiful cat.

Unfortunately, we had to shave him because I’m…good at taking care of him…pretty much, most of the time but…brushing him was something Herby did very faithfully and I somehow never got the knack of doing it. So we had to shave him and he came back looking kind of weird (audience laughs) because his face and tail are fluffy and…he looks like a lion right now (more laughter).  But he’s still a lovable little cat.

night sky


Q: How did you and Herby meet?

Dorothy: Long story (laughs). One summer I went to a resort called Tamiment in the Poconos, and that fall, there was a reunion of people who went to Tamiment at the Stanton Hotel, and Herby was there. He remembered seeing me a week before at another event, and I was talking to somebody so he didn’t approach me. He said I looked intelligent or something.

Anyhow, I met him at this reunion, which was like a dance. He came up to me and introduced himself, and that’s how I met him! He went to the reunion, but he never went to the resort (audience laughs). He took the shortcut.

That’s Herby for you (laughs).


Dorothy is nothing if not frank. She answers each question honestly and thoughtfully. The Q&A continues in the next post…see you then!

Follow our conversation on Facebook, where we list new dates in cities around the US, as well as special events and appearances not listed on this THEATERS page.

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