On February 14, 2023, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announced that it had received the first and largest donation of NFT art ever sent to an American museum.
According to a statement from LACMA, the donation of 22 digital works of art was made by collector Cosomo de' Medici. The collection includes works by international artists from Brazil, Canada, China, England, Germany, Portugal, and the United States.
Among the donated NFT artworks is CryptoPunk #3831, which sold for over $2 million in 2021. Additionally, the donation includes Art Blocks NFT, a platform that creates AI-powered artwork using algorithms deployed on the blockchain.
While the true identity of the donor is unknown, it is believed to be artist and cryptocurrency enthusiast Snoop Dogg, who, in addition to several relevant NFTs such as Bored Apes Yacht Club, has hinted on Twitter that he is the face behind the Cosomo de' Medici alias.
LACMA wants to tell the story of NFT art
LACMA said its goal is to "collect works that tell a representative story of the crypto-art movement," ranging from generative art, photography, video, and AI-generated portraits.
The resulting works date from 2017-2022, reflecting "the boom in artistic experimentation with web3 technologies such as blockchain that have been developing since the 2010s."
According to LACMA, the museum expects to present digital works by artists John Gerrard, TGA, "Comjoo/er toy," Eric Calderon, Jessica Wembley, and Peter Wu. In addition, the museum received a gift from Tom Sachs of his Rockel Factory collection series and Lee Mullican's ALMTEBB.
LACMA's CEO recognized Cosomo de' Medici's work
Michael Govan, LACMA's CEO, and director Wallis Annenberg said artists have been incorporating technology into their work for decades, which has been "central to LACMA's programming since the '60s."
He added that LACMA was one of the first art museums to support artists experimenting with blockchain technology in the creation of their works.
Govan thanked Cosomo de' Medici for the donation, saying that in the future they hope to expand the diversity of their current collection to preserve new works created on the blockchain.
Cosomo de' Medici said on Twitter that he hopes the donation will set the stage for digital works to be exhibited alongside physical works by great artists such as Rembrandt or Picasso, furthering the crypto-art movement worldwide.
How blockchain technology is revolutionizing the art scene
The development of blockchain technology has revolutionized the art scene. Thanks to blockchain, art collectors and artists can verify the authenticity of works and transfer ownership seamlessly. In addition, blockchain has opened new opportunities for digital art that were not possible before.
LACMA's acquisition of this collection of NFT digital art is a testament to the growing importance of crypto-art in the modern age. By collecting works that represent the crypto-art movement, LACMA not only preserves new forms of artistic expression but also informs the public about the impact of blockchain on the art industry.
As the crypto-art movement gains momentum, more museums and art institutions are expected to adopt it. This would create new opportunities for digital artists and collectors to showcase their work in mainstream art venues and establish themselves as legitimate artists.
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