Dia Art Foundation Opens Museum in Beacon, New York, Providing Home for Renowned Collection of Contemporary Art

WHATDia Art Foundation announces the opening of its new museum, created to house its renowned but rarely seen permanent collection of contemporary art. Located on the Hudson River in Beacon, New York, Dia:Beacon occupies a nearly 300,000-square-foot historic printing factory. The facility, which was donated by International Paper, its most recent owner, will be identified as the Riggio Galleries, in recognition of the extraordinary generosity of Leonard Riggio, the chair of Dia's board, and his wife, Louise.

Since its founding in 1974, Dia has been dedicated to supporting contemporary artists and to providing long-term, in-depth presentations of their work. Each gallery in the museum has been specifically designed for the work of a single artist; many were installed in collaboration with the artists themselves.

The new museum has 240,000 square feet of gallery space, presenting works by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Hanne Darboven, Dan Flavin, Michael Heizer, Robert Irwin, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Blinky Palermo, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, and Robert Whitman.

Dia collaborated with artist Robert Irwin and architect OpenOffice on the rehabilitation of the facility.

WHENDia:Beacon opens to the public on May 18, 2003.

Built in 1929 by Nabisco (National Biscuit Company), the historic steel, concrete, and glass factory, designed by Nabisco's staff architect Louis N. Wirshing, Jr., is a model of early-twentieth-century industrial architecture: such elegant, functional design provides ideal conditions for viewing contemporary art. Dia has maintained the character of the original structure, with its high ceilings, broad spans between supporting columns, and more than 34,000 square feet of skylights.

The new museum is sited on thirty-one acres on the banks of the Hudson River. It is a five-minute walk from the Metro-North train station in Beacon, sixty miles (eighty minutes travel time) north of New York City.

Publications, lectures, and other public programs will complement the museum's installations. A variety of educational programs was launched in January 2002 with a pilot program with Beacon High School, the beginning of a collaborative initiative with the Beacon City Schools.

Dia Art Foundation was founded in 1974. A nonprofit institution, Dia plays a vital role among visual arts organizations nationally and internationally by initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects, and by serving as a locus for interdisciplinary art and criticism.

In addition to the new museum in Beacon, Dia presents exhibitions and public programming at Dia:Chelsea (formerly Dia Center for the Arts), in Manhattan, New York, and maintains long-term, site-specific projects in the western United States, in New York City, and on Long Island.

FUNDINGDia:Beacon Riggio Galleries 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.

Significant capital funds were contributed by Lannan Foundation, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, and the Brown Foundation, as well as by Frances and John Bowes, Jay Chiat, Frances R. Dittmer, Angela and William L. Haines, and International Paper. Generous subsidies from public agencies were made available by the Office of Governor George E. Pataki through Empire State Development, the Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency, the City of Beacon, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and the New York State Council on the Arts. Private sector financing was provided by the Bank of America through the Banc of America Historic Tax Credit Fund, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Capital support was also received from Constance R. Caplan, Carla Emil and Richard Silverstein, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Linda and Harry Macklowe, Lea H. Simonds, Louisa Stude Sarofim, and Barbara and Charles B. Wright.

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