Just an hour and a half away by train from Grand Central Station (making sure to get a bit early to walk around the beautiful station), is the town of Beacon, which is a small town north of New York City sitting next to the Hudson River.
The train trip itself is worth it, with beautiful landscapes, hills, forest and bridges around the river, and the town is nice to spend an afternoon walking around and visiting its art shops, cafés and enjoying the views to the Hudson.
But the main attraction, and where everyone went to after the train arrived, is the DIA: Beacon. It’s just about a 15 minute walk from the station, which can feel longer under the hot summer sun.
DIA: Beacon is a modern art museum located in a renovated old factory. The space is great for exhibitions, with lots of indirect light, high ceilings, and many linear feet of wall to locate pieces. It can be seen in a few hours, and many of the artwork is considerably large and can be walked around, watched closely and compared to the rest of the pieces in the room. As a modern art museum, the art was really varied in techniques, materials, and formats. The different areas showcased usually only one artist’s work: there were Louise Bourgeois’ sculptures, Warhol’s prints, Richard Serra’s corten sculptures / buildings / installations, Donald Judd’s creations, and Dan Flavin’s beautiful neon lights. Due to COVID, I guess, some of the exterior spaces weren’t easy to access: there are landscaped gardens by different artists and even musical compositions made specifically for that place.
My favorite, however, were Heizer’s sculptures. One of them, consisted of four impressive holes with different simple shapes, many feet deep into the earth, commissioned to him explicitly for the creation of the museum.
So if you’re ever in New York, with an extra day to spend, don’t hesitate and visit this museum and the town.