In 1986 the Mark Rothko Foundation
distributed its collection of more than 1,200 works by the artist to thirty-five museums (twenty-nine in the United States and six abroad). The National Gallery of Art was the largest beneficiary, receiving 198 paintings on canvas or board; approximately 850 drawings and paintings on paper; two bound sketchbooks; and research and archival materials, including two large mobile easels that Rothko used in the 1960s. The Gallery had previously received a 1954 canvas by Rothko from Enid A. Haupt in 1977, and a pair of 1955 canvases were given to the Gallery by Mrs. Paul Mellon in 1992. A 1958 canvas entered the Gallery’s collection from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2014. In 2007 Rothko’s children, Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko, donated to the library of the National Gallery of Art an original manuscript by their father that had recently been edited by Christopher Rothko and published under the title The Artist’s Reality: Philosophies of Art
(Yale University Press, 2006). Since receiving the gift from the Mark Rothko Foundation, the Gallery has organized in-house and traveling exhibitions, notably a 1998 exhibition
curated by Jeffrey Weiss, and has extended loans of more than 320 works by the artist to nearly two hundred museums, galleries, and embassies worldwide. In 1998 the Gallery, in conjunction with Yale University Press, produced the first volume of the catalogue raisonné of Mark Rothko’s work, Mark Rothko: The Works on Canvas
, by David Anfam.