Society / Featured Parties

Rothko Chapel Celebrates 50 Magical Years and an Extensive Renovation With a $650,000 Post Oak Hotel Night

An International Art Auction, a Grand Raffle and Houston Sports Stars

BY // 12.02.21
photography Jenny Antill Clifton

Little more than a year after completion of an extensive renovation, Rothko Chapel has celebrated its 50th anniversary, a half century of providing inspiration, solace and spiritual reflection for all comers. The milestone anniversary was met with celebration at the Post Oak Hotel where supporters contributed $650,000 for the chapel’s next half century.

Helming the evening that drew 450 to the “Illumination: Rothko Chapel‘s 50th Anniversary” gala were Isabel and Ignacio Torras and Sanford L. Dow.

As one might expect of the chapel filled with Rothko paintings, the art auction with works from international, national and Texas notables was a huge success adding more than $100,000 to the bottom line. These included works on paper by Ed Ruscha (won by a California bidder) and Sol LeWitt (acquired by a Hong Kong collector). Closer to home, gala co-chair  Dow was the high bidder on a collage by Houston talent Robert Hodge, while architect Lauren Rottet won a watercolor by the iconic Larry Bell. The art auction was curated by Barbara Davis of Barbara Davis Gallery.

Also contributing to the chapel’s coffers was the silent auction featuring luxury goodies and experiences, chaired by Christina and Troy Porter and Joyce Echols and Steve Wyatt. Meanwhile, the fortunate winner of the coveted grand raffle — a Fabergé bespoke jewelry experience capped by a London trip —was Brian Ching of Houston Dynamo renown.

02. Brian and Jessica Lai, Livy Yang and Edward Yuen (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)
Brian & Jessica Lai, Livy Yang & Edward Yuen at the Rothko Chapel 50th anniversary celebration. (Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton)

The evening celebrated the accomplishments of three pairs of honorees: art advocates and champions for justice Lori Cohen and Christopher Rothko, son of the late artist; community leaders and champions for youth free agent shortstop Carlos Correa and wife Daniella of The Correa Family Foundation; and spiritual and community leaders the Reverends Juanita and Rudy Rasmus. The duos were chosen for their outstanding efforts in carrying on the work of the chapel’s founders, Dominique and John de Menil, by building and uplifting communities around the arts, spirituality and social justice.

Handling the program were emcee KPRC Channel 2 news anchor Christine Noël and Rothko Chapel board chair Michael R. Piana.

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PC Seen: Aïda Eltorie, Nancy Littlejohn, Dr. Beverly Barrett, Justice Meg Poissant, Beverly and John Berry, the honorees’ daughter Isabel Rothko, artists Anna Mavromatis and Karen Navarro, landscape architect Thomas Woltz (whose firm designed the Chapel’s new greenspace), publicist Elizabeth Kubany, honoree presenters the Rev. Jim Bankston and president and CEO of Houston Area Women’s Center Emilee Whitehurst, Houston Astros owner Jim Crane and wife Whitney, Museum of Fine Arts Houston director Gary Tinterow and Christopher Gardner, Adrián Dueñas and Marcelo Saenz, and philanthropists Phoebe and Bobby Tudor.

Additional reporting Catherine D. Anspon

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