Press Release

Sheldon Nodelman to Lecture About Design of Rothko Chapel

June 07, 2021

The legendary art historian and author will examine the impact of the Chapel through history, as well as its recent restoration.

Renowned art historian and expert on The Rothko Chapel, Sheldon Nodelman, the author of Rothko Chapel Paintings: Origin, Structure, Meaning, will lecture about the impact of the Chapel, Mark Rothko’s design process, and the Chapel’s recent restoration. The program will be presented virtually on Vimeo on Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 at 7:00pm CT. Registration is required and free with a suggested donation of $5 to $20.

In 1997, Sheldon Nodelman authored Rothko Chapel Paintings: Origin, Structure, Meaning, where he explored the Rothko Chapel as “a masterpiece of twentieth century art and incontestably the greatest work of pictorial installation to date, both dauntingly complex and enigmatic.” The quarter century that has elapsed since the publication of Nodelman’s book on the Chapel paintings has allowed for further reflection and the emergence of new evidence that promotes a fuller estimation of its achievement and enables a better appreciation of the leap of inspired vision that resulted in what we know as the Rothko Chapel today.

Dr. Sheldon Nodelman received his B.A., M.A., and PhD degrees in the History of Art from Yale University. He has taught at Bryn Mawr College, Princeton University and Yale. Today, he is Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at the University of California, San Diego. His research fields include: Classical Greek and Roman art, particularly Roman sculptured portraiture, the twentieth century avant-garde, and art historical theory and method. Among his published works, the major critical study of the Rothko Chapel paintings is prominent.

The lecture will be followed by a conversation between Nodelman and Christopher Rothko. Christopher, the second of Mark and Mary Alice Rothko’s two children, is a psychologist, writer and the custodian of the Rothko legacy. He has authored and edited several books about his father and helped prepare more than two dozen Rothko exhibitions at museums around the globe. He is currently the head of the Opening Spaces campaign, the project to restore and expand the Rothko Chapel and its campus.

Register here:


About Rothko Chapel

The Rothko Chapel is a contemplative space that successfully interconnects art, spirituality and compassionate action through a broad array of public programs and community initiatives. It is open to the public every day of the year at no charge. Founded by Houston philanthropists Dominique and John de Menil, the Chapel was dedicated in 1971 as an interfaith, nonsectarian sanctuary, and invites visitors from around the world to experience the power and sanctity of Mark Rothko’s monumental paintings. The Rothko Chapel is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to create opportunities for spiritual growth and dialogue that illuminate our shared humanity and inspire action leading to a world in which all are treated with dignity and respect.


Media Contact:

Elizabeth Kubany


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