MoMA auctions works by Picasso and Bacon to buy its first NFTs

Artworks from the museum’s considerable collection will be sold to raise money in order to increase the presence of digital art.

The William S. Paley Foundation will auction off many art masterpieces to expand the digital footprint of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. MoMA has been caring for William S. Paley’s collection since the CBS co-founder died, in 1990. Paley’s namesake foundation – which holds endowment funds for museums and educational and cultural programs – has involved Sotheby’s in the auction of 29 of the MoMA collection’s 81 pieces, including a Rousseau and a Renoir, Pablo Picasso’s “Guitar on a Table”, and Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies for a Portrait of Henrietta Moraes”.

The collection is expected to fetch between $70 and $100 million and according to MoMA director, Glenn Lowry, there are several possibilities to reinvest the money: virtual exhibits and video chats with creators, a streaming channel of the museum, collaborations with universities, online courses, and last but not least purchasing the first museum’s NFTs.

“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 [of NFTs. NdR]”.

Opening image: Guitar on a Table, Pablo Picasso, 1918

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