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For over four decades, the caretakers overseeing the Rothko Chapel in Houston have struggled to calibrate the natural light that pours through a skylight in the building’s roof, illuminating 14 paintings by the artist Mark Rothko.

The Texas sunlight often proved to be too bright, threatening to cause the monumental canvases in purple and black to fade, says David Leslie, the executive director of the nonprofit organisation that runs the chapel. Over the years officials installed a series of umbrella-like baffles beneath the skylight to partially block the sunshine, he says–essentially inserting what they came to see as an “intrusion” in a sacred ecumenical space designed for contemplation of the canvases.

To read more on The Art Newspaper:

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