From Los Angeles to San Francisco, collector Chara Schreyer and her five residential collaborations are greater than the sum of her art. Case in point: her Marin masterwork.
“It’s my life’s work,” says Chara Schreyer, simply. “I’m excited.” She’s anticipating the launch of Art House (Assouline), a lavish new coffee table book debuting this month that documents her modern and contemporary art collection—and 40-year collaboration with interior designer Gary Hutton. For Schreyer, the project feeds into a desire to broaden the public’s understanding of visual art. “I am a custodian for the art,” she says. “It needs to live long past my lifetime.”
She divides her time between Los Angeles, San Francisco, Belvedere and Marin; her homes are her sanctuaries. The mother of two grown daughters (and grandmother to two grandsons), Schreyer was born in Germany, raised in Los Angeles, honed her love of art at UC Berkeley, and is on the boards of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Hammer Museum and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, she lives their tragic histories subconsciously—her collection tells a unique story. She “bows before the brilliance of human creation and thought,” and shares it generously.
“I am always looking for great architecture to house my collection, and vice versa,” says Schreyer. Together with Hutton and other professionals, including lighting designer Hiram Banks, architect Joe McRitchie and landscape architect William Peters, she has created five harmonious residences. “The secret to our long, lovely relationship is mutual respect. We each know the other is usually right,” notes Hutton. Projects maintain their architectural integrity, but the art is always at the core.
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Photography by MATTHEW MILLMAN.
Written by ALLISON BERG.