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dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries

In May 2003, Dia opened dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, a museum to house its renowned but rarely seen permanent collection comprised of major works of art from the 1960s to the present. Located on the Hudson River in Beacon, New York, dia:Beacon occupies a nearly 300,000-square-foot historic printing factory. The museum is named in honor of Louise and Leonard Riggio for their extraordinary generosity, which has made possible the realization of this museum dedicated to Dia's collection.

Since its founding in 1974, Dia has been dedicated to supporting individual artists and to providing long-term, in-depth presentations of their art. The Beacon museum’s expansive galleries have been specifically designed for the display of the artworks to which Dia is committed, many of which, because of their character or scale, could not be easily accommodated by more conventional museums.

Works installed at the museum range from Andy Warhol's 1978 Shadows (a single work comprising multiple canvases); to three of Richard Serra's monumental sculptures in the Torqued Ellipses; Walter De Maria's "monuments" for V. Tatlin, a series of fluorescent light works by Dan Flavin; several mixed-media installations by Joseph Beuys and Agnes Martin’s 1999 paintings Innocent Love, among others. Each artist’s work is displayed in a dedicated gallery or galleries: in many cases these presentations were created in collaboration with the artists themselves.

Dia collaborated with American artist Robert Irwin and architect OpenOffice to formulate the plan for the museum building and its exterior setting. Irwin's masterplan includes gardens for the exterior and a parking lot with a grove of flowering fruit trees.

The Building and Site

Built in 1929 by Nabisco (National Biscuit Company), the historic steel, concrete, and glass factory building, designed by Nabisco’s staff architect Louis N. Wirshing, Jr., is a model of early-twentieth-century industrial architecture. Its most recent owner, International Paper, donated the building to Dia in 1999. The design elements that advanced the work of the factory also create an outstanding environment for viewing works of contemporary art. These elements include broad spans between supporting columns and more than 34,000 square feet of skylights, which introduce exceptional amounts of reflected north light. At Dia’s instigation, the building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

dia:Beacon is sited on thirty-one acres on the banks of the Hudson River. Dia is working with state and local government officials and Scenic Hudson, a nonprofit environmental organization, on a master plan to connect Dia’s facility with the ninety acres of adjacent riverfront land.

The museum is a five-minute walk from the Metro-North Hudson Line train station in Beacon, sixty miles (eighty minutes travel time) north of New York City.

The Collection

Assembled largely during the 1970s and early 1980s by Dia’s founders, Philippa de Menil and Heiner Friedrich, the original collection included works by some of the most important artists of the 1960s and 1970s, including Joseph Beuys, John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Imi Knoebel, Blinky Palermo, Fred Sandback, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and Robert Whitman.

Anticipating the creation of the Beacon museum, this collection has been significantly augmented with works by artists of the same generation as those Dia historically supported. These include Bernd and Hilla Becher, Louise Bourgeois, Michael Heizer, Robert Irwin, On Kawara, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Robert Ryman, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, and Lawrence Weiner. To further develop the presentation, Dia is extending its holdings of works by artists already represented in its collection.

Visiting dia:Beacon

Winter hours: late November thru mid April - 11 am to 4 pm Friday - Monday, closed Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday

Summer hours: mid April thru mid October - 11 am to 6 pm Thursday - Monday, closed Tuesday/Wednesday

dia:Beacon closes for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. The museum’s café and bookshop open at 10:30 am year-round.

Admission::

dia:Beacon Guided Tours: dia:Beacon provides guided tours every Saturday at 1 pm. Tours are free with admission.

Getting to dia:Beacon:

By Train: dia:Beacon is located adjacent to the Beacon train station, which is served by Metro-North Railroad trains from Grand Central Terminal and Poughkeepsie. Trains run hourly in either direction during museum operating hours. For train information, visit www.mta.info or call 212.532.4900 or 800.METRO.INFO. For train travel from north of Poughkeepsie, take an Amtrak train to Poughkeepsie and transfer to a Metro-North train. Beacon is the second stop. To walk to dia:Beacon from the train station, exit the rear of the platform on the river (west) side. Turn left on Red Flynn Drive and follow it over the railroad tracks to Beekman Street. Turn right at Beekman Street and continue to dia:Beacon which is the next driveway on the right.

By Car from NYC: Take Upper Level of George Washington Bridge New Jersey bound. Take first right off Bridge to Palisades Parkway North. Take Palisades Parkway North to end. At rotary, take 6 East/202 across Bear Mountain Bridge. Take the first left onto Route 9D North. Continue 16.5 miles north on 9D into the city of Beacon. At the fourth traffic light in Beacon (just past Beacon City Hall), make a left turn onto Beekman Street. Continue on Beekman Street .5 miles. dia:Beacon's entrance is on the right, marked by a gray sign.(Travel time: approximately 80 minutes.)

Specifics on visiting dia:Beacon were correct at time of publication. We would suggest that you confirm dates and times prior to your visit.
 
 
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