On National Pie Day, Let Us Rejoice in the Recipe for Mark Rothko’s Favorite Apple Pie

A rather tasty looking apple pie. (But not Mark Rothko’s favorite apple pie, to be clear.)


Yesterday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Twitter account shared the exciting news that it was National Hot Sauce Day—the perfect opportunity to learn more about a Qing dynasty pot shaped like a hot pepper. And today it is National Pie Day, as I learned moments ago from the New Museum’s Twitter account, which shared a photo of Liza Lou’s bead-bedecked Kitchen (1991–96), with a fresh pie coming out of the oven.

If you would also like to get in on the National Pie Day celebration with some baking, I have a suggestion: bake the apple pie that Mark Rothko’s wife, Mell, apparently made for his birthday (September 25) every year. The recipe is available in Frank Fedele’s 2003 great cookbook, The Artist’s Palate, published by DK, which offered the details online. “My father, who was otherwise known for eating almost anything with considerable gusto, apparently detested cake,” Christopher Rothko, the artist’s son, says in the book. And so it had to be pie for père Rothko!

If you’re not in a baking mood, please join me in staring at this photograph of the all-time greatest pie artwork: Claes Oldenburg’s Pie à la Mode (1962). What a thing!

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