All about the Rothko Chapel in Houston

The Rothko Chapel is a place full of spirituality and a place visited by some of the world’s most prolific and famous world leaders. It is in this building where you may find solitude and a space for the gathering of great minds and full hearts, and it has played host to the civil rights movement and more. Each year, nearly 100,000 people visit the building from all corners of the globe to learn of its history and to come together. It is also the home of the Oscar Romero Award.

Inside the Building

As you walk through this building, expect to find works carefully produced by Mark Rothko, himself, and these 14 murals will surely leave you looking for more. The men responsible for the architecture of the site are Philip Johnson, Eugene Aubry, and Howard Barnstone, three men known for their talents and unparalleled work. Walking from one room to the next will reveal something unique and captivating to enjoy, and this is the perfect place for any individual, couple, or group to visit during their time in Houston.

Outside the Building

rothko chapel
Located near the reflecting pool in the Plaza is the Broken Obelisk, a beauty brought into being by the imagination of Barnett Newman, and it is truly a site to behold. Respectfully dedicated to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it is a piece constructed from the deep spiritual resonance created in the life of John and Dominique de Mentil by the life actions and accomplishments of the Reverend. This couple also founded the Menil Collection located nearby, another area in which you can enjoy a truly spectacular experience.

Interesting Facts

Commissioned in 1964 by John and Dominique de Menil, Mark Rothko followed their wishes and created this non-denominational space in which anyone could come and medicate, connect with one another, and reflect on the movements of the world around them. Along with the building designs produced by the architects Aubry, Johnson, and Barnstone, the chapel saw completion in 1971. Unfortunately, Mark Rothko would not see its completion, as he did pass away in the month of February, 1970, and the building was duly named Rothko Chapel.

Inspired by the global ecumenical movement, the Second Vatican Council, and France’s work to introduce modern artwork and architecture into buildings of worship, the de Menils came up with the idea of the Rothko Chapel. During their lifetime, the de Menils spent many years partaking in activism and philanthropy, as well as contributing to the culture of Houston with the Menil Collection, the Cy Twombly Gallery, and the Dan Flavin installation at Richmond Hall. Without their work, the world would surely be deprived of something special, and you would do yourself a great deal of good by taking the time to visit the Rothko Chapel and its surrounding structures while you explore the beautiful city of Houston.   Call AFC Transportation and get a ride to the Rothko Chapel.


Photo Courtesy