The Art of the Steal
Inside the Sotheby's-Christie's Auction House ScandalBook - 2004
The definitive book on the price-fixing scandal that roiled the art world, from the reporter who Dominick Dunne says "knows more about the ins and outs of this story than anyone else" (Vanity Fair). The Art of the Stealis the explosive inside story-the only book to tell the whole truth and dish the dirt-of one of the most fascinating big-business trials of the new century-the price-fixing scandal that rocked the auction world and put one of the richest men in America behind bars. Brilliantly written and reported, it tells the story of larger-than-life figures-the billionaire tycoon Alfred Taubman; the most powerful woman in the art world, Diana "DeDe" Brooks; and the wily British executive Christopher Davidge-who quaffed champagne and dined on caviar while conspiring to cheat clients out of millions of dollars. The book also offers an unprecedented look inside this secretive, gold-plated industry, describing just how Sotheby's and Christie's grew from clubby, aristocratic businesses into slick, international corporations and showing how the groundwork for the most recent illegal activities was laid decades before the perpetrators were caught by federal prosecutors. Christopher Mason is the only reporter who has persuaded all the key figures (and hundreds more) to spill the beans. He has followed the trail of this story wherever it has led-from galleries and boardrooms in London, Paris, and New York to parties in Palm Beach and courtrooms in lower Manhattan. Evoking the best-known investigative narratives like Barbarians at the Gateand Den of Thieves, the hidden lives of the very rich described in Philistines at the Hedgerow, and the crime-and-high-society reporting of Dominick Dunne, The Art of the Stealis destined to become the hottest-and most entertaining-gossip-starter of the season.