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Legacy Unveiled: Chara Schreyer’s Collection


In an art world coup, Sotheby’s announces an upcoming auction featuring exquisite pieces from Chara Schreyer’s illustrious collection, marking a new chapter in the preservation of iconic artistry.

An Art Aficionado’s Legacy

The art realm is abuzz as Sotheby’s prepares to auction items from the prestigious Chara Schreyer collection, spanning numerous auctions commencing this November and extending into the following year. Among the myriad of intriguing lots is a peculiar treasure: one of Marcel Duchamp’s “artist suitcases.”

Journey of a Visionary Collector

Born in Munich in 1947 to Holocaust survivors, Chara Schreyer moved to Los Angeles at five, witnessing her family amass wealth through real estate ventures. Her passion for art history culminated in a degree from the University of California, segueing into her role as a wealth manager for institutions like SFMOMA, MOCA, and the Hammer Museum. Her philanthropic stride extended beyond, touching various educational and health entities.

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However, Schreyer’s enduring legacy remains her formidable private collection, an assemblage resonating with the works of artistic behemoths like Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, and Joseph Beuys. Transforming her residence into a quasi-museum, she indulged visitors with guided tours, shedding light on the masterpieces she so revered.

Auctioning a Legacy

Following her passing in February 2023, her heirs decided to auction her collection. Sotheby’s, tasked with the monumental sale, anticipates substantial bidding for works, including Frank Stella’s “Honduras Lottery Co.” and pieces by Donald Judd and Andy Warhol, expecting to generate over $70 million.

Yet, the most distinctive lot is Duchamp’s “La Boîte-en-Valise,” a mini museum within a suitcase, representing a portable anthology of his work. This meticulous assemblage underscores Duchamp’s genius, offering a profound insight into his contributions to modern art.

The auction serves not just as a sale of high-caliber works but as an homage to Schreyer’s profound impact on the art collection landscape, immortalizing her impeccable taste for generations to admire.

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