Dia Owns More Art Spaces Than You Think, and Now They’re Spending $78 Million to Run Them All Better

artnet News | Julia Halperin

Many museum directors aim to make their mark by overseeing a major expansion or the construction of a new building. Jessica Morgan, the director of New York’s Dia Art Foundation since 2015, is doing the opposite. Today, she announced plans to refurbish the museum’s existing spaces in Chelsea, SoHo, and Beacon, New York, and to reopen several sites that had previously been rented out as part of a $78 million fundraising campaign—all without expanding Dia’s existing footprint. Morgan made headlines soon after her arrival in New York from London, where she was a curator at Tate Modern, when she announced that she had no intention of opening a new building in Chelsea for Dia. The foundation’s former director Philippe Vergne had already raised a hefty sum toward the cause, but Morgan was determined to focus on improving Dia’s existing industrial spaces.

“It makes no sense to have this incredible real estate and to be renting it out,” Morgan told The Art Newspaper at the time. Now, her vision is bearing fruit. Over the next several years, Dia plans to reopen a 2,500-square-foot gallery in SoHo, at 77 Wooster Street, that it had been renting out to retail stores for the past decade. The refurbished space will host a flexible program of artist projects and capsule presentations of work from Dia’s collection, Morgan tells artnet News. Dia also plans to update the climate control systems for the two Walter de Maria installations it oversees in SoHo, The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), enabling them to remain open year-round for the first time…read more

Image: Dia:Beacon. Photo: Bill Jacobson studio, New York, courtesy Dia Art Foundation, New York.