Find solitude in a stillness that moves at the Rothko Chapel

Photo courtesy of Rothko Chapel

Explore your spirituality while surrounded by contemporary art in a quiet, tranquil environment built for people of all faiths at the Rothko Chapel. 

Located within the picturesque, 30-acre neighborhood that houses the Menil Collection museum campus, the Rothko Chapel sits quietly tucked away at the corner of Sul Ross and Yupon Street in Montrose.

Commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil in 1964 and completed by 1971, the octagonal brick space contains eight moveable benches and 14 murals by American abstract expressionist artist Mark Rothko. His interior features three walls of dark purple-hued triptychs and five walls with similar large single paintings.

Open To All Faiths 

A sacred space open to all, every day, the chapel provides spiritual text for a variety of faiths that visit to devote time to prayer, meditate, partake in religious services, lectures, concerts or simply sit in silence surrounded by the other-worldly Mark Rothko paintings.

With the Menil’s belief that art and spirituality are central to society’s shared experience, people from all walks of life seek renewal in the chapel and solitude in the Plaza outside where Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk monument stands in memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Click here to check for a full list of upcoming events before your visit.

Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk in the Chapel Plaza | Photo: Cody Swann

History of Rothko Chapel

Renowned art collectors, John and Dominique Menil of The Menil Collection commissioned famed abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko in 1964 to create a space for meditative paintings.

The works are site-specific, one of the requirements of the program. Rothko, given creative license on the design of the structure, clashed with famed architect Philip Johnson, the chapel’s original architect.

The plans eventually fell into to the hands of Howard Barnstone and Eugene Aubry after differences could not be resolved between Johnson and Rothko.

To date, the famed chapel joins the Byzantine Fresco ChapelCy Twombly Gallery, and the Dan Flavin Installation at Richmond Hall as free standing satellite buildings dedicated to modern and contemporary art in Menil’s 30-acre art neighborhood.

Chapel Plaza | Photo: Cody Swann

Before You Visit

Please take care to respect the chapel and its visitors by preserving the silence within the structure, refraining from using cameras, before entering leaving food, drinks or large bags at the front desk, and maintaining a safe distance from the artwork.

The chapel is generally open every day of the year from 10am to 6pm. On occasion, it closes to the general public for programs and private services.

The Rothko Chapel grounds act as an extension of the chapel itself and guests are invited to reflect on their experience of the chapel and the Broken Obelisk, or simply have a moment of silence outside the busy city.

The Chapel Grounds are free and open to the public daily from dawn until dusk. Bicycle racks, trash cans, and restrooms for chapel visitors are located along the gravel path to the west of the Chapel Plaza.

Menil Park leading to Rothko Chapel near the intersection of Sul Ross & Yupon Street | Photo: Cody Swann

Rothko Chapel

Rothko Chapel Exterior | Photo: Cody Swann
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Cody Swann is a writer and musician born and raised in Houston. When he isn't recording or touring the country with his band, Wild Moccasins, he can be found covering live music and arts events for 365 Things to Do in Houston.