Meta Digest

MoMA to sell $70 million worth of art for NFT buys

The Museum of Modern Art set to auction $70 million worth in art to buy NFTs

Image source: Hyperallergic

The digital world is slowly taking over old methods, and the Museum of Modern Art has been working to keep up with the times.

The museum recently announced that it will auction works by famous artists (Bacon, Picasso, Renoir, and Rousseau) to expand its digital presence and potentially purchase NFTs.

The William S. Paley Foundation

This fall, the William S. Paley Foundation is auctioning more than $70 million worth of artwork to expand the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) fingerprint.

The move could also potentially produce the museum’s first NFTs.

MoMA has been responsible for William S. Paley’s collection since his death 32 years ago.

Paley’s eponymous foundation holds endowments for museums and educational programs.

The Foundation commissioned Sotheby’s to auction 29 pieces from MoMA’s 81st collection.

MoMA’s digital presence

The money from the sale will be used to expand the museum’s digital presence.

MoMA Director Glenn Lowry said the museum has identified several opportunities for the money.

The museum plans to launch its own streaming channel, host virtual exhibits and video chat with creators, or partner with universities and course providers to launch online courses.

Cryptocurrency fans will also be excited to learn that MoMA may be buying its first NFTs.

Glenn Lowry said the museum has a dedicated team that keeps up with the digital art landscape looking for potential collaborators or art purchases.

“We’re conscious of the fact that we lend an imprimatur when we acquire pieces,” said Lowry.

“But that doesn’t mean we should avoid the domain.”

Paintings for sale

The Museum of Modern Art and the William S. Paley Foundation have entered into an agreement under which the former has the final say on the use of the collection.

A small portion of the sales from the fall auction will be allocated to philanthropic causes pursued by the late Paley.

With a number of significant pieces in the collection, works such as Picasso’s 1905–06 ‘Boy Leading a Horse’ and Matisse’s ‘Woman with a Veil’ will not be offered for sale.

Lowry has confirmed that a Renoir and a Rousseau will be auctioned.

Meanwhile, Picasso’s “Guitar on a Table” will hit the market in New York in November for at least $20 million.

Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies for a Portrait of Henrietta Moraes” is expected to fetch at least $35 million at auction in London in October.

The collection should bring in between $70 and $100 million.

Although MoMA helped create NFT, it does not yet have any tokenized work on the blockchain.

In November 20221, the museum contributed metadata from its collection to AI artist Refik Anadol’s Unsupervised exhibition, which also functions as an NFT project.


$70M art collection at MoMA to be sold, proceeds could fund NFT buys

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