50th Anniversary Celebration

In 2021, Rothko Chapel celebrates 50 years as a landmark of modern sacred art and as a celebrated site for transformative and inspirational experiences. John and Dominique de Menil first revealed Rothko Chapel and the plaza with Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk to the public from February 26-28 in 1971.

We honor and celebrate the 50th Anniversary with a roster of exciting programs throughout the year, spanning the breadth of offerings that the Chapel is known for—from performances and interfaith experiences to discussions and conversations on the critical issues of the day— reinvigorating the Chapel’s renown for inspiration and contemplation. 

Underwriting support for the Rothko Chapel's 50th Anniversary Programs was provided by The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation, Inc., Peter Ragauss; Cullen Geiselman; Ludmila Golovine; Louisa Sarofim; Andrew C. Shirrmeister, III; Bill Arning; Catalina De La Garza; Gayle and Mike DeGeurin; CC Lee; Jody Blazek and David Crossley; Diane Hanson Aldridge; Betty and Ken Adam; Linda and Philip Boyko; Maria and Michael Jadick; Patty Mayeux; Elsa Ross; Gary Tinterow and Christopher Gardner; and Reverend Jim Bankston.

Programs below include past event recordings hosted in our archives and upcoming events with program information and registration links. This list will be updated as additional programs are scheduled.

View our Vimeo playlist "Celebrating 50 Years of the Rothko Chapel" here.

Rothko Chapel & the Journey of Its Restoration
Friday, February 26 2021, 6 PM

This conversation explores the original design of the Rothko Chapel, the importance of light within the building, the Chapel’s growing campus, and the creative process of the Opening Spaces Design Team.

Book Release: Rothko Chapel: An Oasis for Reflection
Saturday, February 27 2021, 6 PM

Commemorating the first monograph on Rothko Chapel in more than 20 years, the book’s contributors speak about the Rothko Chapel’s history and how the restoration project came to fruition.

50th Anniversary Interfaith Service & Community Celebration
Sunday, February 28 2021, 2 PM

This commemorative celebration includes Sufi Whirling, prayers, reflections, and music to lift up the last 50 years of the Rothko Chapel's work and mission.

“Rothko in Jazz” with Māris Briežkalns Quintet
Thursday, March 11 2021, 6 PM

In honor of Mark Rothko’s Latvian heritage, Latvian jazz ensemble the Māris Briežkalns Quintet commissioned ten Latvian composers to each create an original jazz compositions to illustrate the moods and atmosphere evoked by an iconic Rothko painting.

Filming the Rothko Chapel: A Conversation with Francois de Menil and David Leslie
Wednesday, March 31 2021, 6 PM

This special event coincided with the virtual screening of the short version of Francois de Menil's documentary "The Rothko Chapel" (1972), including an interview with the Chapel's founders, Dominique and John de Menil. Organized by Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, in partnership with the Menil Collection and the Rothko Chapel.

Rothko Chapel Revisited with Sheldon Nodelman & Christopher Rothko
Wednesday, June 9 2021, 7 PM

The final program in our 50th anniversary program series featured a livestream lecture and conversation with art historian Sheldon Nodelman and Christopher Rothko.

“Monochromatic Light (Afterlife)” by Tyshawn Sorey
Saturday, February 19 2022, 7 PM

DACAMERA and Rothko Chapel commissioned boundary-breaking composer Tyshawn Sorey to create a new work inspired by the Chapel and by Morton Feldman’s 20th-century masterpiece, Rothko Chapel.