Name Change Reflects Completion of Transformation of Organization and Expanded Scope of Programming

Sep 21, 1990

New York - Dia Art Foundation has changed its name to Dia Center for the Arts, effective immediately, today announced its Board of Directors. The new name has been adopted in order to more adequately represent the diverse range of cultural and educational activities currently undertaken by Dia, which has emerged as one of the largest organizations in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to the contemporary arts. The name change also serves to correct the misperception that Dia is a private family foundation and grant-making organization.

Ashton Hawkins, Chairman of the Board of Dia, stated, “Our new name reflects our true nature as an organization engaged in a diverse cultural program encompassing all areas of the arts as well as the fact that we are currently an organization with a broad base of financial support.”

Established in 1974 to promote the development of the visual arts, Dia reorganized under a new Board of Directors in 1985 with the objectives of preserving existing projects and initiating new programs in keeping with Dia’s original chartered goals. From 1974 to 1984, the organization was supported by a single patron, Philippa de Menu, who continues to serve on the Board but does not currently provide any financial support.

Since its reorganization in 1985, Dia’s initiatives have included the opening of a major 35,000 square foot exhibition facility at 548 West 22nd Street which offers artists the opportunity to present works on a full floor of the building for extended periods of time, usually one year. Dia also has established programs in dance, poetry, and critical discussion and debate as well as a publications program encompassing exhibition catalogues, artist’s books, and the ongoing series, ‘Discussions in Contemporary Culture.”

Recently, Dia conceived and initiated the organization of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, a joint venture with The Andy Warhol Foundation and The Carnegie Institute. This project is based on the extensive collections of Warhol’s work held by Dia and by the Estate of Andy Warhol. The Andy Warhol Museum is scheduled to open in the fall of 1992. Dia’s intent in collaborating with the Carnegie and in possible future partnerships, is to make its unique collection of contemporary art fully accessible to the public by siting bodies of individual artist’s works in carefully prepared long-term installations. Dia’s collection includes work in-depth by Joseph Beuys, John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, Imi Knoebel, Walter De Maria, Blinky Palermo, Fred Sandback, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol.

Dia continues to maintain and operate earlier commissioned site works across the country, including three works by Walter De Maria: The Lightning Field, The New York Earth Room and Broken Kilometer. Other special long-term presentations include an installation of works by Dan Flavin in Bridgehampton, New York and the Fred Sandback Museum in Winchendon, Massachusetts.

According to Charles Wright, Executive Director of Dia, “Since our inception Dia has been dedicated to accommodating the most ambitious projects of contemporary artists, and we are working to preserve that emphasis. As Dia Center for the Arts, our initiatives in the ‘90s at 548 West 22nd Street and in the management of our permanent collection will continue to challenge accepted standards for the presentation of the art of this time.”

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, press@diaart.org or 212 293 5518

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