Named after the artist Marko Rothko, a native of Daugavpils, the art center showcases of various array of international artists. The art center is located with in the walls of Daugavpils fortress built in 1833. The arsenal building in the fortress was renovated in 2011 and the center was opened to the public in 2013. During the Soviet Era, the arsenal building inside the fortress was used for military purposes and in the 90s it was out of use. As one the locals observed, the buildings in the fortress were used as low cost housing during the 1990s and now creative people seek them out.
Mark Rothko, born as Marcus Rothkowitz, emigrated to the US in 1913 when he was 10. He was one of the celebrated of his time and founder of abstract expressionism.