Podcast | Behind the skyrocketing prices of Alden Mason’s artwork

Ten years after his death, the Seattle painter is having a moment. Reporter Margo Vansynghel discusses the increased interest in his work.

A person looking at a painting in a gallery

A visitor looks at the work of Alden Mason at Woodside/Braseth Gallery on February 8, 2023. (Chona Kassinger for Crosscut)

When Alden Mason was in the prime of his career, he was well-known among those who followed and collected art in the Pacific Northwest. Yet the artist from Skagit Valley never saw the international success of other 20th-century painters from the region, like Morris Graves and Mark Tobey.

Now a recent surge of interest in Mason's work has put his legacy a little closer in kind to that of those so-called Northwest Mystics. 

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Of particular note have been the sale prices of his paintings, which have doubled in just the past year, at multiple auctions.

For this episode of Crosscut Reports, guest host Mark Baumgarten talks with reporter Margo Vansynghel about her quest to understand why Mason's art is having a moment, what it tells us about the current art market and, surprisingly, how it might have inspired an alleged forgery.

Read our full report on Alden Mason and his increasingly popular paintings here

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