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Donald L. Mason

Donald L. Mason (1925-1999)  Special Agent for the FBI in charge of art theft investigations, during the 1970s.  Often went undercover, posing as a potential buyer. In August of 1976, just days before his retirement, Mason famously recovered a painting stolen from the offices of film director Otto Preminger (a modern abstract work by the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky). Preminger said he’d given up hope, but Mason traced the painting from New York to Philadelphia to New York and then to Switzerland. He found the painting, caught the bad guy, and gave it back to Preminger at a dramatic news conference. After 25 years with the FBI, Mason became an art security consultant, with clients including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. Published The Fine Art of Art Security in 1979.  Lived on Park Street, across from the bridge.