Rothko Chapel

Rothko Chapel, Houston

Rothko Chapel
Religious Sites • Art Museums
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10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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A sacred art space open to all since 1971. Commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil, the Rothko Chapel is an interfaith sacred art space housing 14 large-scale murals by artist Mark Rothko. On the grounds is the "Broken Obelisk" sculpture by Barnett Newman, dedicated to the human rights legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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< 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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433 reviews
Very good

Houston, TX825 contributions
Oct 2020
Went to see the Chapel after the restoration, and was hoping to get some information on what had been done. We were very disappointed in the Chapel. we had never been before, so not sure what to expect. Due to the virus time tickets had to be reserved, We arrived at 1 pm for our schedule time, and at the door to the chapel was told we had to exchange the bar scan ticket for paper tickets at the Glass House. we were greeted warmly at the glass house, but no information verbally or in the form of paper hand out, given to us about the chapel and what all was done durning the months that it was closed. We went back to the chapel and gave the young women our ticket and walked. in. You walk into a narthex where there is a guest book and several religious book you can use while in the chapel if you are so led. Inside the dome, there are benches in the center that you can sit at and look at the "art" of Mr. Rothko. It consist of 14 black wall panel, that are hung around the room. Inside there were two guides, I guess to make sure no one touched the black panels. They never said a word and there are no plaques in the room talking about the "art" pieces. From what we read later, it is mainly a place for people to go and reflect, and they do hold events at times, such as musical concerts. so read up on it before going, as you will not see any information about it on the grounds. the grounds are nice, and good spot to sit on the lawn and enjoy a picnic. It is free, so that is a plus
Written October 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Leza H
London, UK644 contributions
Mar 2022 • Couples
I’m a fan of Rothko’s art so I’m biased and really enjoyed my visit here. The large dark paintings offer a contemplative sobering experience in stark surroundings. I’m not sure what other visitors will make of this space, my husband is an art fan but found it depressing and I totally understood his comments. If you love Rothko, then don’t miss it. It’s free to visit.
Written March 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New York City, NY242 contributions
Oct 2020
It helped that I knew in advance about the chapel and its purpose which helped to mentally prepare me before the experience. As a huge Rothko found, I absolutely enjoyed my time in the chapel, just sitting in near silence and reflecting on the art and myself in a dead quiet space. I can see how not everyone would enjoy it, but if you're looking for a quiet place to sit and reflect, it is a fantastic experience.
Written October 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Espanola, NM1,177 contributions
Jan 2021 • Couples
Meditation is fine for some, but I prefer to do it outside with the wind in my hair with birds singing on a sunny day- NOT in a dark room with black screens on the wall in total silence! It was boring, but I went with it for 15 minutes and then left. Thank heavens it is free, (and worth it, but you have to buy a timed ticket online). I was hoping for a Rothko painting or two, but got black walls and floors instead!
My opinion- Sit in the grass outside and meditate on the sculpture instead. The afternoon we went, a young man doing a yoga class on the grass. Believe me, that was more interesting than being inside.
Written January 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Karen M
3 contributions
Jun 2021 • Solo
I got there a little after 10am. They said it was closed until 2pm for an event. There was nothing on there website. I was leaving Houston and couldn't come back after 2pm. The least they could do is post something on their website site. They don't care about people meditate on that.
Written June 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Houston, TX113 contributions
May 2014 • Solo
This was my second stop on my personal Art Day. As others have noted, it is stark and minimalist. If you feel that your life is too happy and bubbly, come for a visit and they'll cure that in short order. I'm not an artsy person by any definition; I just happen to like what I like.

The first docent looked bored and she pretty much compelled me to sign the guest book by barking her edict. I took my revenge by making up a fake name and address for the entry. Plus, I don't want the "Debbie Downer Avenging Angels of Rothko" to find me and steal my remaining joy.

Once past the Gatekeeper, I found the "world-famous" Rothko goth rectangles mildly interesting. What was more interesting was the man asleep slumped over his own lap: dressed in a colorful running jacket, he had his book opened up on the pew in front of him. In the process of reading and meditating, he ended up tucking his chin into his chest (and open jacket) and promptly fell asleep.

Though, he could have been drained of his life force by the vampire gloom of the place for all I know. I didn't touch him to check - and the interior docent didn't get up either. I guess she's seen plenty of this unconsciousness happen here and is used to it. After a few more laps around, I got tired of looking at the sleeping man and I departed into the glorious sunshine outside.

While not my cup of joy, others may find it relaxing or satisfying. As such, I'll leave them my share of the place - cheerfully. Free admission and (even better) free departure.

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Written May 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Houston, Texas9 contributions
Having visited the Rothko Chapel after having heard so much about the stunning paintings on it's walls by Mark Rothko, I must say that I did indeed find them stunning. The Rothko Chapel is perhaps the most powerful validation imaginable of that old saying that a fool and his money are soon parted. Master Rothko has created for the Chapel, after much labor and no doubt millions in compensation, 14 canvases that could just as easily have been done in an afternoon by any competent handyman and some gallons of paint from Home Depot. However, Rothko certainly was a master. A master, that is, at forming symbiotic relationships with that most attractive (to artists, anyway) sub-species of humanity, i.e. those with ample pocketbooks and very, very weak minds. The Emperor does indeed have no clothes at the Rothko Chapel.
Written March 25, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John F
Austin, TX239 contributions
I recently decided to experience the Rothko Chapel in Houston immediately after visiting the Chinese Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit (at the Houston Museum of Science and History) and the Byzantine Chapel Fresco Museum. I had done a little research on the Rothko exhibit and was looking forward to experiencing a place described (by the chapel’s own literature) as “comparable in importance to the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence by Henri Matisse or the Chapel in Ronchamp by Le Corbusier in France”. I know that art is in the eye of the beholder but I seriously thought that the very large and dark Rothko “masterpieces” looked like they could have been painted in an afternoon by an eight year old with a paint roller and a few cans of Wal-mart paint. During the 20 - 30 minutes I spent meditating in the chapel, the words unimpressive, ridiculous, and sham and the phrases "the emperor has no clothes!" and "man, I'm glad I didn't pay anything to get in here!" kept popping into my mind. Then a voice inside me spoke and provided a revelation - “millions will continue to visit and be impressed by exhibits like the Chinese Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit and the Byzantine Chapel Frescos long after the Rothko Chapel “masterpieces” are gone and forgotten”. Count me as one that just didn’t get the Rothko Chapel.
Written October 28, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tappy Feet
Essex England311 contributions
My husband and I enjoy visiting galleries so thought it a great idea to see Rothko's work whilst taking a vacation. These canvases are housed in a very nice structure but to call it a chapel is taking things a bit far. The paintings are in black making the room very dark. Some are outlined in dark purple. We were hoping to "feel" something in the quiet area. You could have been in a quiet area in an art gallery, it was really no different. If you have never seen a Rothko then out of curiosity, check it out. But no need to go out of your way as in our opinion, you'll be disappointed.
Written April 17, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vermont12 contributions
I seldom get to Houston but when I do I always go to the Rothko Chapel. It is a powerful spiritual experience.

Outside of the chapel is a pool with a broken obelisk, a memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Inside the chapel is quiet and peaceful: an excellent place for meditation and inner peace.

There is no charge for admission but donations are accepted. Hightly recommended for all spiritual seekers: you will be glad you came.
Written May 15, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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  • Tue - Sun 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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