Society / Featured Parties

Lynn Wyatt Shares Her Love Letter in an Extraordinarily Rare Houston Night

New Plans for Rothko Chapel Teased

BY // 05.21.17
photography Jenny Antill

It was only the third fundraising gala in the Rothko Chapel’s extraordinary history of more than four decades and on this evening two of Houston’s leading ladies — though both from remarkably different spheres — took bows. Rothko Cultural Ambassador and international social figure Lynn Wyatt and political activist and human rights advocate Sissy Farenthold were honored on this rare evening.

Th event, held at The Astorian, doubled as a salute to the two dedicated supporters and as a reveal of plans for Rothko Chapel in the coming years.

“We wait to have events until we have a very good reason to have them,” said Christopher Rothko, chapel board chair and Mark Rothko’s son. “We have two fabulous honorees tonight. These are women who are truly worth celebrating. So we also have an opportunity tonight to give a sneak peek to a few Houstonians about our plans for the next few years leading up to our 50th anniversary (2021). So it’s really a very special night for us.”

Special indeed as Wyatt and Farenthold each shared their gratitude for the honor, both incredibly defying the calendar at age 81 and 90, respectively. (With these two, 80 is the new 60!)

Rothko and his wife, Lori Cohen, along with Gayle and Mike DeGeurin chaired the evening.

Wyatt delivered what she referred to as a love letter to the chapel. “When one walks into the chapel, it brightens everything,” she said. “It calms the spirit. It embraces our consciousness and illuminates a light inside of us. It is our protector and our light. It shines in the darkness of all minds.”

As part of the program, Christopher Rothko and Rothko executive director David Leslie shared conceptual plans for an upcoming master plan development of the chapel and its surroundings. Architecture Research Office (ARO) has led the master plan efforts that will be presented to the Rothko board for approval in June.

The plans are to improve the visitor and meditative experience in the chapel and to develop additional green spaces that will enhance a sense of sanctuary. This will include a meditation garden.

Prior to this event, the most recent Rothko benefit evening was almost three years ago when actress Tilda Swinton was presented the Rothko Chapel Visionary Award during a black-tie evening at Houston Country Club.

Who: Auction chair Sanford Dow and wife Heather, Fairfax Dorn, Marc Glimcher, Tatiana and Craig Massey, Mark Sullivan, Gigi Huang, Susu and Robert Ross, Robert Shelton, Bennie Flores Ansell, James Tiebout, Alejandro Chaoul, David Leslie, Kate Rothko Prizel, Erika de la Garza, and Laura Robertson.

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