Joining us for our 38th episode is Jessica Morgan, the director of the Dia Art Foundation—that much beloved organization so associated with the great land artists of the 1960s and 1970s. Pilgrimage, place and change of pace are important aspects of any visit to Dia—which has 11 sites in places as diverse as Utah, Bridgehampton, Beacon, New Mexico and New York City.
Morgan talks to host Charlotte Burns about fundraising—since joining in 2015 she has launched a $78m capital campaign to renovate and expand Dia’s existing spaces, raising around $60m already. She also discusses the problems with judging museums’ success by attendance figures, and reveals her future plans for Dia.
Click here for the full transcript
Charlotte Burns: Hello and welcome to In Other Words where we discuss everything you ever wanted to know about the art world but didn’t know who to ask. I’m your host, Charlotte Burns, and on today’s episode I am joined by Jessica Morgan, the director of the Dia Art Foundation.
We have a wide-ranging conversation about Dia, that much beloved American institution, which is so associated with the great Land artists of the ‘60s and ‘70s. We discuss fundraising in the US and the UK and talk a bit about the problems with judging museum success by attendance figures.
director, Dia Art Foundation
Jessica Morgan has been director of Dia Art Foundation since January 2015 and was named Nathalie de Gunzburg Director in October 2017. Since Morgan’s arrival at Dia, the foundation has grown and diversified its collection to include significant works by Mary Corse, Nancy Holt, Mario Merz, Robert Morris, Dorothea Rockburne, Kishio Suga, Anne Truitt, and Lee Ufan among others.
Prior to joining Dia, she was the Daskalopoulos Curator of International Art at the Tate Modern, a curator at the Tate, chief curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Morgan was also the artistic director of the 10th Gwangju Biennale in 2014 and served on the jury for numerous biennales and art prizes, including the Venice Biennale and the Abraaj Group Art Prize.
executive editor of In Other Words
Charlotte Burns is the editor of In Other Words, our weekly newsletters and podcasts. She was previously the US news and market editor for The Art Newspaper, as well as a regular correspondent for publications such as the Guardian and Monocle. Previously, she worked with the London dealer Anthony d’Offay on special projects. For several years, she was a consultant at the cultural communications agency, Bolton & Quinn. She also worked at Hauser & Wirth in London.
Burns received a Masters degree (with Merit) from the Courtauld Institute in Art and Cultural Politics in Germany, 1890-1945, as well as a first-class B.A. honors degree in English and History of Art from Birmingham University. She moved to New York in 2010.
The live record
Behind the Scenes with Jessica Morgan
For more on Jessica Morgan
“Jessica Morgan and Rebecca Rabinow in Conversation” interview with Andy Battaglia in ARTnews (2017)
“Women Take Center Stage in the Reimagining of Dia Galleries” by Hilarie M. Sheets in The New York Times (2017)
“Meet the Visionary Curator Who’s Transforming Dia Art Foundation” feature in Vogue (2016)
Interview with Tom Eccles in ArtReview (2015)
Interview with Jessica Riddiford in Ocula (2014)