Rothko Chapel – Houston, Texas - Atlas Obscura

Houston, Texas

Rothko Chapel

A universal meditative place of worship and social justice center adorned with paintings by famed abstract artist Mark Rothko. 

Part chapel, part work of art, the Rothko Chapel’s inside walls are covered in 14 large, black but color-hued paintings by 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 sadly did not live to see its completion, passing away a 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, and has been used as such a place since it first opened. Starting in 1973 it has also been used as a center for international social justice, and has hosted guest such as President Jimmy Carter and South African President Nelson Mandela.

Update March 2019: The chapel and grounds are closed through early 2020.

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