On February 14, 2023, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announced that it received the first and largest donation of NFT art ever sent to an American museum.
According to LACMA’s statement, the donation of 22 digital artworks was made by the collector Cozomo 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 the CryptoPunk #3831, which in 2021 sold for more than $2 million. Additionally, the donation includes an Art Blocks NFT, a platform that generates artworks using AI through algorithms deployed on a blockchain.
Although the real identity of the donor is unknown, it is believed that it could be the artist and cryptocurrency enthusiast Snoop Dogg, who, in addition to having several relevant NFTs such as the Bored Apes Yacht Club, hinted on Twitter that he was the face behind the pseudonym Cozomo de’ Medici.
LACMA Museum Wants to Tell the Story of NFT Art
LACMA said its goal is “to assemble works that tell a representative history of the crypto art movement,” ranging from generative art, photography, videos, and AI-generated portraits.
The received works date from 2017 to 2022, reflecting “a boom of artistic experimentation with web3 technologies like blockchain that have been budding since the 2010s.”
According to LACMA, the museum expects to introduce digital works from artists John Gerrard, TGA, “Comjoo/er toy,” Erick Calderon, Jessica Wembley, and Peter Wu. Additionally, the museum received a gift from Tom Sachs from his collectible series Rockel Factory and Lee Mullican’s ALMTEBB.
LACMA CEO Recognized Cozomo de’ Medici’s Labor
Michael Govan, LACMA CEO, and Wallis Annenberg Director, said that artists have incorporated technology into their works for decades, which has been “central to LACMA’s programming since the 6Os.”
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 Cozomo de’ Medici for the donation, stating that in the future, they hope to expand the diversity of their current collection to preserve new works created on the blockchain.
Cozomo de’ Medici stated on Twitter that he hopes this donation lays the foundation for digital works to be exhibited alongside physical works by great artists such as Rembrandt or Picasso, promoting the crypto art movement globally.
3/ These works will now sit in one of the greatest art collections in human history, alongside physical works defining the last 6,000 years of artistic expression. Including works by Rembrandt, Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Cassatt, Andy Warhol, Monet, and Georgia O’Keeffe.
— Cozomo de’ Medici (@CozomoMedici) February 13, 2023
How Blockchain Technology is Revolutionizing the Art Scene
The rise of blockchain technology has brought about a revolution in the art scene. With blockchain, art collectors and artists can verify the authenticity of works and transfer ownership seamlessly. Moreover, blockchain has opened up new possibilities for digital art that were previously impossible.
LACMA’s acquisition of this collection of NFT digital art is a testament to the growing importance of crypto art in the contemporary age. By collecting works representing the crypto art movement, LACMA is not only preserving the new forms of artistic expression, but its actions also serve to educate the public about the impact of blockchain on the art industry.
As the crypto art movement gains momentum, it is expected that more museums and art institutions will embrace it. This would create new opportunities for digital artists and collectors to showcase their works in mainstream art venues and establish themselves as legitimate artists.
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