National Biscuit Company Carton Making and Printing Plant
Dia:Beacon building on the Hudson River
|Location||3 Beekman St., Beacon, New York|
|Area||26.6 acres (10.8 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||03000253|
|Added to NRHP||April 18, 2003|
Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries is the museum for the Dia Art Foundation's collection of art from the 1960s to the present. The museum, which opened in 2003, is situated on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon, New York. Dia:Beacon occupies a former Nabisco box-printing facility that was renovated by Dia with artist Robert Irwin and architects Alan Koch, Lyn Rice, Galia Solomonoff and Linda Taalman, then of OpenOffice. Along with Dia’s permanent collection, Dia:Beacon also presents temporary exhibitions, as well as public programs designed to complement the collection and exhibitions, including monthly Gallery Talks, Merce Cunningham Dance Company Events, Community Free Days for neighboring counties, and an education program that serves area students at all levels.
Dia pioneered the conversion of industrial buildings for the installation of contemporary art—a practice and aesthetic now widely adopted by museums and galleries internationally. Dia’s most recent conversion, its museum in Beacon, is located in a former printing plant built in 1929 by Nabisco (National Biscuit Company). With 240,000 square feet (22,000 m2) of exhibition space, the museum is sited on thirty-one acres on the banks of the Hudson River, and is adjacent to ninety acres of riverfront parkland. It is a five-minute walk from the Metro-North train station in Beacon, sixty miles (or eighty minutes travel time) north of New York City.
Dia:Beacon’s expansive spaces are uniquely suited to the needs of large-scale installations, paintings, and sculptures. In keeping with Dia’s history of single-artist, site-related presentations, each gallery was designed specifically for the art it contains. This includes Andy Warhol’s 1978–79 multipart work Shadows, displayed in a single installation measuring approximately 350 linear feet; selections from Dan Flavin’s series of fluorescent light monuments to V. Tatlin (1964–81); Richard Serra’s monumental steel sculptures Torqued Ellipses; and Michael Heizer’s North, East, South, West (1967/2002), among others. The ideal viewing conditions created by reflected north light from more than 34,000 square feet (3,200 m2) of skylights are especially evident in the galleries devoted to the paintings of On Kawara, Agnes Martin, Blinky Palermo, and Robert Ryman.
Dia collaborated with American artist Robert Irwin and architect OpenOffice to formulate the plan for the museum building and its exterior setting. The grounds include an entrance court and parking lot with a grove of flowering fruit trees and a formal garden, both of which were designed by Irwin. The adjacent Long Dock Park on the Hudson River has a site-specific work by environmental sculptor George Trakas.