Rothko Chapel – Houston, Texas - Atlas Obscura

Rothko Chapel

The peaceful space is adorned by paintings by the famed abstract artist Mark Rothko. 

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Part chapel, part work of art, the Rothko Chapel’s interior walls are covered with 14 large, black-and-color-splashed paintings by the famed American abstract painter Mark Rothko.

Rothko worked with different architects—including Philip Johnson, Howard Barnstone, and Eugene Aubry—in designing the windowless, cross-shaped modernist building, but he did not live to see its completion, passing away shortly before the chapel opened in 1971.

The chapel was designed as an universal, meditative place of worship, not specific to any one denomination or religion. Since 1973, it has also been used as a center for international social justice, and has hosted guests such as United States President Jimmy Carter and South African President Nelson Mandela.

The chapel and grounds are closed for renovations, and will reopen in June 2020.