Monday, September 23, 2013

Because Beacon

The weather's been pretty lovely lately (getting that fall crisp in the air), so this weekend it seemed like a good idea to get out of town for the day. Fall crispness is wasted in the city after all. We'd bandied about the idea of going apple picking, but in the end decided to go somewhere we'd never been before. We settled on Dia Beacon. The museum is located in an old Nabisco box printing factory and contains the collection of the Dia Art Foundation from the 1960s through today. The huge museum is located in the adorable town of Beacon, New York located just an hour an half train ride from New York City. The train ride was also part of the appeal of the day trip as the train goes along the Hudson River the whole time for some lovely views. I think it would be even nicer in a couple of weeks once the fall foliage revs up.

Sam and the aforementioned Hudson River. 
 Apparently the day we chose to visit Beacon was also the day of their annual beer fest. Most of the locals we saw in town were either on their way to the beer fest or talking how they were abstaining from going to the beer fest for whatever complicated reasons. We could hear the music and see some of the festivities from the train, and it looked like a pretty good time (as craft beer festivals no doubt often are). Next year we might have to check it out. However, this year, our plans were already in place, so to the museum we went.

The one shot I got before I was told no photos were allowed in the museum. 
I would say Dia Beacon falls into the category along with PS1 of "museums where I enjoy the building more than the art inside it." I've found this is often the case with modern art museums housed in repurposed buildings. I enjoy looking at the pieces, but I just always feel like I'm missing something key that other people are seeing. For example, there was a piece by an artist whose name I've already forgotten who painted the date on a solid black (or blue) canvas in whatever language/format of the country he was in on the date he was painting it. If he didn't finish the painting by midnight, he destroyed it. Also, for some reason the air in the room where the paintings were displayed was "ionized"? When I found out he painted the perfect white numbers without stencils, I was marginally impressed, but I still don't really get what he was trying to accomplish. Maybe I just wasn't breezing in enough of that sweet, freeing purified air.
Me and some bushy trees at the entrance of the museum.
After wandering the vast open expanses of the museum (definitely worth checking out for the building alone), we headed into town. Downtown Beacon is something of an artist's enclave with a number of cute shops, galleries, and restaurants. They also have nice ice cream shops.
Sam soaking up the sites of Main Street. 

I realized we have so few photos of the two of us together. Actually, that's not true. Thanks to the wedding we have hundreds of beautiful photos of the two of us looking put together and attractive, but we have so few of us looking wind blown and with Sam looking off in some random direction. 

So that is a truthful account of our trip to Beacon. If Metro North weren't so pricey, I'd say we should head back soon. As is, it may be a while. But hey, it's only 364 days to Beer Fest!


  1. Definitely a roomy museum! That work you photographed with Sam looks like it would take a lot of explaining -- typical of much contemporary art.

  2. I don't remember the significance of that particular one, but that picture was taken about halfway through the room, so you can get a sense of just how large it was!