On-Chain Art Goes IRL: The Largest Collection Of NFTs To Enter A U.S. Museum

This week was host to the biggest acquisition of blockchain-based art from an American museum. The new additions of nearly two dozen NFT art pieces were gifted to one of Los Angeles’ most recognizable museums from one of the most recognizable names in NFTs.

Let’s take a look at what collections made the list, what you can expect from the acquisition, and more.

On-Chain Art Goes IRL: The What & Where

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (commonly known as ‘LACMA’) is one of LA’s most signature museums, and the largest museum in the western U.S. LACMA is host to a rotating offering of historic paintings and pieces. LACMA is also home to permanent exterior public works like Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” (pictured in the header above), Michael Heizer’s “Levitated Mass”, and more. The museum is aptly positioned in the heart of Los Angeles, right next to the La Brea Tar Pits – a unique area in LA where natural asphalt has bubbled to the surface for thousands of years.

You might not be able to secure your ticket to the museum as an NFT (at least, yet), but you can certainly see some NFTs on display soon. A new era of history is entering the halls of LACMA this week, courtesy of notable NFT collector Cozomo de’ Medici.

Ethereum (ETH) has been the genesis of art on-chain, though many other chains are seeing developments in this vertical - even Bitcoin. | Source: ETH-USD on TradingView.com

A Collection’s Worth

What made the cut for Medici’s generous gift to the museum? A LACMA issued press release along with a corresponding Twitter thread from Medici detail a bit of what’s to come for the museum’s blockchain-based acquisition. It’s a wonderful compilation of some of the most recognizable and legacy collections across the NFT space. Dubbed ‘The Medici Collection,’ the 22 NFTs include iconic ‘legacy’ pieces, generative and AI-produced pieces, photography, code, and more. Additionally, Medici and team did an excellent job bringing in the global element of blockchain-based works, featuring 13 international artists from across the globe.

The additions add substantial weight to LACMA’s existing collection of digital pieces, which have been a growing category for the museum as the space has grown. In a statement included in the press release, LACMA’s Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art Dhyandra Lawson stated:

“It is a great honor to have works from The Medici Collection find a permanent home at LACMA. With this gift, my goal was to help bridge the worlds of on-chain art and contemporary art, which until now have existed separately. I’m thrilled to have these historically significant on-chain works contextualized beside many iconic works of art in LACMA’s collection.”

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