New York’s Museum of Modern Art Considers Buying NFTs With Proceeds of $70M Auction: Report

MoMA has a team monitoring the digital art market and will consider purchasing non-fungible tokens.

AccessTimeIconSep 14, 2022 at 12:30 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:16 p.m. UTC

New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is considering buying non-fungible tokens (NFT) with some of the proceeds of an auction of William S. Paley's art collection, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The museum plans to sell $70 million worth of the collection gathered by the founder of the CBS broadcasting network, which it has been holding since he died in 1990, the Journal said. The collection includes Pablo Picasso’s 1919 "Guitar on a Table" as well as works by Renoir and Rodin. Sotheby's will auction off 29 of Paley's 81 pieces at MoMA this later this year.

The museum's director, Glenn Lowry, said the intention is to extend the digital reach of the museum after attendances slumped during and after the pandemic. The museum has a team of people keeping tabs on the digital art market and it is considering purchasing digital art connected to NFTs, Lowry said.

In-person NFT galleries have been popping up since the asset class rose in popularity last year. In May, SuperRare debuted its first gallery in SoHo, New York. NFTs are a special type of crypto asset that allows holders to prove their ownership of real or digital items – generally, the latter.


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Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.

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