Christopher Mason

posted: 09/27/12
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A British-born New Yorker, educated at Cambridge University, Christopher Mason is a journalist, author and performer of musical tributes and satirical songs. A frequent contributor to the New York Times, Christopher has written for the past 15 years on the worlds of art, society, fashion, and design. Most recently, for Travel & Leisure, he wrote about Ballyfin, a neoclassical mansion erected in 1826 to trumpet the wealth and prestige of Sir Charles Coote, the Premier Baronet of Ireland, which has just reopened as a luxurious hotel. For Tina Brown's The Daily Beast, he wrote "The Baby Monitor Diaries, " about the diaries of Brooke Astor's staff, which provided harrowing accounts of the queen of New York philanthropy's tragic story.

Christopher is the author of The Art of the Steal: Inside the Sotheby's-Christie's Auction House Scandal, a critically acclaimed book about the price-fixing scandal that cost the world's leading auction houses $512 in civil fines and sent Alfred Taubman, the billionaire chairman of Sotheby's, to jail for 10 months. According to the Sunday Times: "Mason tells a jaw-dropping tale of greed, fear and folly ... a chilling and deeply satisfying moral tale ... Mason is a meticulous researcher ... an excellent book." The Economist described the The Art of the Steal as "a rare beast-a genuine antitrust thriller, a gripping yarn of real-life collusion that is spiced up with Picassos, class warfare, art-market bitchiness and the rather unsettling conclusion that some well-heeled villains got away with it."

Dominick Dunne, a longtime champion and friend of Christopher's, praised the book in a cover blurb, noting: "His understanding of the legalities and courtroom dramas is wickedly precise. His knowledge of the ways of high society is uncanny. His social-climbing anecdotes are hilarious. The Art of the Steal is very entertaining indeed."

Mason is also renowned for writing and performing musical tributes and satirical songs. He recently performed a rollicking musical toast to Mario Buatta, the Prince of Chintz, at a New York gala at the Metropolitan Club honoring the legendary designer. He performed a hilarious tribute to the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough at a private dinner given by Hilary and Wilbur Ross. And he has performed songs for Mayor Mike Bloomberg, President Bill Clinton, the Prince of Wales, Liz Smith, Dominick Dunne, Joan Rivers, Philip Johnson, Doris Duke, C.Z. Guest, Agnes Gund, Wilbur Ross, and Leonard Lauder (to name drop only a few) in venues ranging from the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library, to a private 40th birthday party in a Paris nightclub, the Purim Spiel for the Jewish Museum's gala in the Grand Ballroom of New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel, and the opening gala for New York's New Museum on the Bowery.

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