Born September 25, in Dvinsk, Russia, to Jacob Rothkowitz and Anna Goldin Rothkowitz.
Emigrates with his family to Portland, Oregon.
Attends Yale University for two years.
Moves to New York City. Begins classes at the Art Students League.
Develops a friendship with Milton Avery who becomes a mentor.
He begins teaching children at the Center Academy of the Brooklyn Jewish Center. Rothko continues teaching here for 20+ years.
Given his first one-person show at the Museum of Art in Portland, Oregon.
Joins with Adolph Gottlieb, Ilya Bolotowsky and others to form The Ten. They exhibit together eight times between 1935 and 1939.
Rothko’s work becomes more abstract and symbolic. He creates a series of paintings based on Greek myth.
Rothko, Gottlieb and Barnett Newman write a letter to the New York Times, spelling out their take on modern painting. The Times publishes the letter in full.
Rothko’s work moves fully into the abstract, beginning a series of paintings that become known as the Multiforms.
Rothko begins what is now known as his classic paintings, featuring floating rectangles on a colored background.
He accepts a commission to create seven murals for the Four Seasons Restaurant in the new Seagram’s Building in New York. His palette darkens significantly.
Rothko withdraws from the Seagram commission, objecting to the commercial nature of the setting.
The de Menil Family commissions Rothko to create murals for a chapel on the University of St. Thomas campus in Houston.
Rothko has an aortic aneurysm, severely limiting his ability to paint.
Rothko creates a new series of black and gray paintings and a series of compositions in pastel pink and blue shades.
On February 25, 1970, Rothko takes his own life at his studio in New York.