Sotheby’s Clinches the Chara Schreyer Collection for New York’s Fall Auctions

Sotheby’s auction house announced Thursday that it had secured the collection of the philanthropist Chara Schreyer, whom the house referred to as “one of the most consequential collectors and patrons of post-war and contemporary art in the 21st century.”

By securing the Scheryer sale, Sotheby’s has bagged two of the most important estates that will be up for auction this year. Earlier this month, Sotheby’s won out over Christies and secured the collection of the late New York philanthropist Emily Fisher Landau.

The Schreyer collection, which will be featured in dedicated blocks during both their Contemporary Evening and Contemporary Day sales, with further items to be offered in 2024, features a litany of revered artists from the post-war period through the ultra-contemporary.

The sale has been aptly titles, Art House: The Collection of Chara Schreyer, after the 2016 book that explores the creative partnership between Schreyer and designer Gary Hutton, the unique, galleryesque, homes she amassed from Los Angeles to the Bay Area, and of course the art that the homes were designed to house.

“Am always on the hunt for art to speak to the architectural characteristics of my houses, and houses that speak to the art historical characteristics of the art,” Schreyer wrote in the Art House.

Leading the sale will be Frank Stella’s monumental Honduras Lottery Co. (1962, estimate $10 million – $15 million), one of the first works from the artist’s Concentric Square series of paintings. Sotheby’s notes that only six works from this series were made in this size, half of which are at marquee institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Seibu Museum of Art in Tokyo.

Among the most important highlights is Marcel Duchamp’s De ou par Marcel Duchamp ou Rrose Sélavy (La Boîte-en-Valise), Series A (between 1941 and 1949, estimate $1.8 million – $2.5 million). While far from the most expensive of the works among the sale’s highlights, Duchamp’s “portable museum” was among Schreyer’s most cherished works and held a special place in her primary home in Marin county, California.

Often referred to simply as La Boîte-en-Valise, the work consists of a leather suitcase, inside of which is a box containing 69 reproductions of Duchamp’s works plus one original piece. Only 20 were made, plus four examples. The work on offer is numbered V/XX in the edition, and was assembled by the Duchamp in New York in 1942. It was dedicated to the accountant and collector Bernard Reis and contains a hand-colored collotype of Duchamp’s Mariée.

Other highlights include Eva Hesse’s Top Spot (1965, estimate $5 million – $7 million), Robert Gober’s Deep Basin Sink (1984, estimate $2 million – $3 million), and Donald Judd’s 1969 work, Untitled (estimate $7 million – $10 million).

Selected works from the collection will be on tour from October 2 with stops in Hong Kong, London, and Los Angeles, and will return to New York on November 1.