One of Houston’s most beloved sacred spaces and art havens, the Rothko Chapel, takes a break next year for renewal before its 50th anniversary celebration in 2021. The nondenominational Rothko Chapel and grounds will close March 4 through the winter of 2019 for renovation as part of the Opening Spaces capital project.
Founded by John and Dominique de Menil and designed by architects Philip Johnson, Howard Barnstone, and Eugene Aubry, in close collaboration with renowned artist Mark Rothko, the chapel was gifted to Houstonians as a place for contemplation and reflection. The chapel holds 14 masterpiece paintings by Rothko on its eight walls and has become a center of peace for Houston and the world.
With an objective to enhance the visitor experience throughout the chapel and grounds, the Opening Spaces project will restore and upgrade the space within the chapel itself. With an eye on how light meets art, the interior restoration will reconfigure the skylight, lighting design, and entryway.
The ambitious project calls for welcome and community engagement centers as well as landscaping improvements, including new and enhanced greenspaces that will highlight the connection between the chapel, administration building, and rest of the neighborhood. Plans also include the creation of new offices, archives, library, and a conference room.
While the Rothko Chapel remains closed to the public for months next year, its stated mission to connect art, spirituality, and compassionate action through a broad array of free public programs will continue. The chapel’s public programming will continue off-site throughout the year and will always be listed on the events calendar.
Currently, the Rothko Chapel is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm and admission is free.