It doesn’t take an Art major to love Dia:Beacon. This funky, postmodern museum houses a tremendous collection of artwork from the 1960s to the present and is an easy trip from Vassar (just two Metro-North stops and a five minute walk).
Owned and operated by the famed New York City-based Dia Art Foundation, this museum was opened in 2003 in the Riggio Galleries. The galleries are both rustic and industrial—one has the feeling of walking through an abandoned factory in the middle of a garden. And in some sense, that’s exactly what they are: Built in 1929 by the Nabisco Company, the steel, concrete, and glass factory building is a model of early-twentieth-century industrial architecture. It was donated to Dia in 1999, which quickly pushed for it to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places (which also lists Main Building and the Old Observatory). The galleries feature more than 34,000 square feet of skylights, which is an absolutely ideal space to display the often-massive installations of contemporary artists.
If you like contemporary art, you will fall quickly in love with their collection. As any Art History major will quickly recognize, Dia:Beacon includes works by some of the most well-known artists of the 1960s and 1970s, including Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, and Fred Sandback.
Located right along the banks of the Hudson River, students will love spending a day at Dia:Beacon. And at only $7 for students, a visit is more than affordable.