Museums love NFTs
Museums across the world are adopting a new way to curate art, taking the driver's seat in Web3 adoption.
Hello, y'all. This is The Rabbit Hole, the Saturday brother of The Token Dispatch. We love NFTs. Museums love NFTs. And it's them NFTs that have taken the front row at the art show in museums across the world. While we sit and wonder about all the love in the world.
The traditional museum experience just got a digital upgrade, thanks to the world of NFTs. As the art world embraces this innovative technology, museums and cultural organisations are getting in on the action to educate, generate buzz and revenue, and even acquire NFTs for their collections.
🖼️ A New Way to Curate Art
While NFTs provide transparency and authentication for ownership, museums must approach their use with caution and curate them in line with their values. The Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami and Perception Codes have taken a unique approach, using Holo-NFTs to create immersive art experiences. European museums are leading the charge in NFT adoption, with the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp tokenizing a classic art masterpiece worth millions of euros, while the Kharkiv Art Museum in Ukraine partnered with Binance to preserve their cultural heritage and raise funds through an NFT collection.
💡 How Institutions Are Embracing Digital Art?
From panel discussions on the future of NFTs at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum to the British Museum selling NFT postcards of Hokusai's famous prints, museums are getting creative with how they use NFTs.
Even during the pandemic, museums have found ways to bring in much-needed funding through NFTs. Some are using NFTs to mint digital replicas of their masterpieces and sell them to art collectors, while others are partnering with blockchain companies to create unique art experiences.
The Uffizi Gallery in Italy and the State Hermitage Museum in Russia have turned to their vast collections of Renaissance and masterpieces to mint NFTs, bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars. 💰
And it's not just traditional museums getting in on the action! The Academy Museum of Cinema collaborated with artists to create NFTs inspired by their Future of Cinema gallery. 🎥👀 Meanwhile, the San José Museum of Art commissioned a new NFT work by Rashaad Newsome for their 2021 Gala + Auction.
The British Museum and Uffizi Gallery are some of the first museums to enter the NFT space with the intention of raising funds.
The Whitworth Art Gallery collaborated with Vastari Labs to mint an NFT of The Ancient of Days by William Blake to raise funds for community organizations in the local area.
The Universal Hip Hop Museum partnered with NEAR Protocol to create a series of NFTs called Hip Hop Heads featuring famous artists from the genre's history.
Museums such as the New Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum are exploring NFTs as intriguing subject matter in seminars rather than implementing NFT programs.
🤖 The NFTized Future: Thoughts
Hussein Hallak, founder and CEO of Next Decentrum Technologies, believes it's inevitable for museums to transform into giant NFT galleries eventually. He believes that fractional ownership of art will make it more accessible and increase its value. Hallak perceives NFTs as a tool for supporting public art rather than a transfer of custodianship and believes that creating digital versions of artworks and artefacts can be used to fund public displays.
Tina Rivers Ryan, a digital art curator, stated that American museums are nonprofit organizations working in the public trust and thus have to move slowly. Many museums are discussing how to incorporate NFTs into their mission, but they are cautious due to the rapidly changing market and the legal, environmental, and other implications that need careful consideration.
Suse Anderson, a professor of museum studies, is doubtful about museums getting involved with NFTs, as it could detract from the actual artwork. However, she recognizes that there is currently a market for NFTs from museums, which could provide opportunities for fundraising and visibility.
🎓The WAC fellowship
Twelve top-notch institutions have joined the Web 3.0 fellowship, which is all about learning the basics of blockchain technology, discovering how it can be used in the cultural sector, and getting hands-on experience with DIY blockchain development.
This Web3 for the Arts and Culture (WAC) fellowship programme is a collab between the Tezos Foundation, We Are Museums and TZ Connect. They've got lectures, workshops, and mentoring sessions with industry experts, so you'll be in good hands.
And that's not all! The French Ministry of Culture is leading a special research track focused on artistic royalties. Plus, the fellowship has already supported an amazing exhibition by Ian Cheng that featured a fully integrated live-minting NFT experience.
🖊️While we are at it…
Just two weeks ago, the NFT collector and influencer called Cozomo de' Medici donated 22 digital artworks to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). One of the pieces is a CryptoPunk from Larva Labs, and there's also stuff from other cool artists like Dmitri Cherniak and Claire Silver, who make art with AI. Basically, de' Medici wants to show everyone how important digital art is, and the LACMA CEO, Michael Govan, is really excited about adding this stuff to the museum's collection and figuring out how to preserve it all. It's a big deal to recognize digital art as a legit form of art.
“With this gift, my goal was to help bridge the worlds of on-chain art and contemporary art, which until now have separately existed,” said de’ Medici in a press release. “I’m thrilled to have these historically significant on-chain works contextualized beside many iconic works of art in LACMA’s collection.”
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