the perfect artful escape

Dia Art Foundation is a cultural institution for contemporary art. The foundation operates three galleries in and around New York City (Beacon, Chelsea and Bridgehampton) and satellite sites mostly in the city and a few extra large environmental installations scattered across the country (plus one in Germany). In addition to carving out spaces for contemporary art exhibitions, they also host well-curated programming at the gallery and educational resources to support the arts.

Dia Beacon is a special place. Just an hour up into the Hudson Valley, is well worth a side trip. It’s a museum that just couldn’t exist in an urban gallery, art taking over a former Nabisco factory nestled in a nook of the river. A minimalist, industrial building filled with large, multimedia art that invites 360 exploration and interaction, sometimes swallowing you up entirely. The museum is bigger than you expect it to be, understated yet lofty, the kind of place you want to linger, where you can feel one with your thoughts as you move through the space. The collection here features a permanent collection of art from the 1960s onwards and rotating special exhibitions

The museum is divided into 4 general areas.

  • The main floor is spacious and features paintings and mixed media sculptures in many shapes and sizes in its various rooms. Natural light flood in from the windows like art in itself, sometimes interacting with the larger than life sculptural structures in the room full of Serras.
  • The upstairs feels like an attic, hosting some smaller pieces and a very large spider (fitting for the attic atmosphere)
  • The basement feels like a place where one could easily get murdered. Lit only by projections and neon glows of art pieces, it is alluringly eerie.
  • A small garden outside brings you back into the sunlight with aural art immersing you in the outside world.

the details


Dia Beacon: 3 Beekman St, Beacon, NY
all locations listed here

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Hours10am – 5pm Friday – Monday (closed Tuesday – Thursday) at Dia Beacon
12-6pm Wednesday – Saturday at Dia Chelsea
12-6pm Friday – Sunday at Dia Bridgehampton 
Price$$ – $20 general admission at Dia Beacon, other locations are free
Aestheticdrafty minimalist industrial space

good to know

Go here for: a day trip getaway, a more peaceful art museum option compared to the city

Don’t miss: their bookstore for some great coffee table book options

Amount of time to spend: an hour or two would be perfect

When to come: winters and weekdays are less crowded, and mornings

Getting here: there’s a parking lot for driving visitors, and shuttles from the train station

Other things to note: You can reserved timed tickets in advance online (though you can walk in and buy tickets there too).

Last visited: December 2021

Last updated: January 2022

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