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The Museum of Modern Art set to sell a collection to possibly fund NFT buys

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

Image source: Hyperallergic

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

Recently, the museum announced it will auction off works by renowned artists (Bacon, Picasso, Renoir, Rousseau) to expand its digital presence to potentially buy NFTs.

The William S. Paley Foundation

This fall, the William S. Paley Foundation will auction off over $70 million in art pieces to expand the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) digital footprint.

The move could also potentially get the museum its first NFTs.

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

Paley’s namesake foundation holds endowment funds for museums and educational programs.

The foundation enlisted Sotheby’s to auction 29 pieces out of MoMA’s 81 collection.

MoMA’s digital presence

Money from the sale will be utilized to expand the museum’s digital presence.

MoMA director Glenn Lowry said the museum outlined several possibilities for the money.

The museum has plans of launching its own streaming channel, hosting virtual exhibits and video chats with creators, or collaborating with universities and course providers to launch online courses.

Crypto fans will also be excited to learn that MoMA might purchase its first NFTs.

Glenn Lowry said the museum has a dedicated team stay updated on the digital art landscape in search of potential artist collaborators or 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 has an agreement wherein the former has the final say in how the collection will be used.

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

With a number of important pieces in the collection, works like Picasso’s 1905-06 “Boy Leading a Horse” and Matisse’s “Woman with a Veil” will not be put up for sale.

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

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

Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies for a Portrait of Henrietta Moraes” will be auctioned for at least $35 million this October in London.

The collection is expected to generate between $70 and $100 million.

Despite contributing to the creation of NFTs, MoMA is yet to own a tokenized work on the blockchain.

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


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

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