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Rothko Chapel, Houston

3.4
#2 of 7 in Historic Sites in Houston
The Rothko Chapel is a non-denominational chapel in Houston, Texas, founded by John and Dominique de Menil. The interior serves not only as a chapel, but also as a major work of modern art. On its walls are fourteen black but color hued paintings by Mark Rothko. The shape of the building, an octagon inscribed in a Greek cross, and the design of the chapel was largely influenced by the artist.Susan J. Barnes states "The Rothko Chapel...became the world's first broadly ecumenical center, a holy place open to all religions and belonging to none. It became a center for international cultural, religious, and philosophical exchanges, for colloquia and performances. And it became a place of private prayer for individuals of all faiths"On September 16, 2000, the Rothko Chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.HistoryIn 1964 Rothko was commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil to create a meditative space filled with his paintings. The works are site-specific, one of the requirements of the program. As Rothko was given creative license on the design of the structure, he clashed with the project's original architect, Philip Johnson over the plans for the chapel. The plans went through several revisions and architects. Rothko continued to work first with Howard Barnstone and then with Eugene Aubry, but ultimately he did not live to see the chapel's completion in 1971. After a long struggle with depression, Rothko committed suicide in his New York studio on February 25, 1970.
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Rothko Chapel Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
354 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Along with the Turrell Skyspace at Rice University, this is one of the two top peaceful contemplative spots in Houston. It is dark and quiet and wonderfully powerful in its understatement and heavy pe...  more »
  • I went to this place as it was close to the menil museum don't know if it was me but I just did not get it just large black canvases hanging there ????  more »
  • I've never been anywhere quite like the Rothko chapel - a non denominational chapel where anyone is welcome to sit, contemplative, and admire the unique architecture of the building and the Rothkos in...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful place to visit that is completely unassuming from the outside. It is a welcoming, non-denominational chapel founded by John and Dominique de Menil. Come visit at different times of the day to see the subtle changes in the Rothko paintings. Make sure to take a glance at the books inside, especially about the history and design of the place. Interesting details about the creation of the artwork, architecture, and logistics of making it all happen. Just outside of the chapel is the sculpture “Broken Obelisk” by Barnett Newman that sits in a reflecting pool designed by Philip Johnson, dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr.
  • A peaceful place to rest your mind. Quite atmosphere, interesting architecture style and most importantly, respectful people. I did a meditation session over there and it feels great! I'd totally go there again if possible!
  • The Rothko paintings get minus five stars. I am giving two stars to the chapel overall, because I was free to leave. Last week a Rothko painting just like the ones we made in juvenile detention and also like those pieces of non-art at the chapel sold for $46.5 million dollars. So you could build 92 $500,000 homes or you can have one of the things with paint applied by a schizophrenic, who must have been sharing his special kool-aid to get anyone, to think what he did was more than playing around wasting expensive materials.
  • A very nice place to go, relax, pray, think about important things, and forget about the world for a while. That's it.
  • Wonderful! Luckily art is for everyone pleased or not. Beautifully thought out gallery of light! Thank you-

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Where to stay in Houston

If you come to Houston to splurge while on holiday, book a luxurious room at a downtown hotel. This area is an ideal base for getting to know Houston, offering you a chance to stay within walking distance of one of the country's largest theater districts. Houston bills itself as the "Energy Capital of the World," so it's no surprise that it houses many "green" hotels, their garages designed to cater to electric vehicle owners. For something completely different, enjoy a Texas country experience at a working ranch outside the city limits.
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