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Christopher Mason

In this lively discussion with Charles Ruas, author Christopher Mason divulges how auction houses turn works of art into investment commodities, how shopping-mall honcho Alfred Taubman transformed Sotheby's into a powerhouse against rival Christie's, and how their financial shenanigans have affected the worlds of art, international society, and white-collar crime prosecutions - or have they? Of particular interest is their discussion of how market activity has come to determine an artist's social standing and professional reputation alike.

Christopher Mason's investigation of the
Sotheby's-Christie's price-fixing scandal is detailed in his new book, The Art of the Steal.


Conversations with Writers


Host Charles Ruas in conversation with contemporary writers and poets, continuing a stream of intelligent discussion dating back to his legendary days at WBAI Pacifica Radio in New York in the seventies. Ruas is the author of Conversations with American Writers, a Fulbright scholar, and a distinguished French translator. His writing has frequently appeared in both ARTNews and Art in America. His other Clocktower-produced program is Historic Audio From the Archives of Charles Ruas and is one of the most brilliant and extensive collections of historic audio in our archive.