The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has acquired a donation of 22 NFTs of generative artworks, including pieces from sought-after artists such as Dmitri Cherniak, Cai Guo-Quiang, Matt DesLauriers, and Monica Rizzoli, along with collectible NFTs from the CryptoPunks and World of Women collections.
The anonymous donor, who goes by the pseudonym Cozomo de’ Medici, said the motivation behind the donation was to seed a robust digital art collection at LACMA and to create a new movement there. According to ARTnews, the donated NFTs represent a significant part of de’ Medici’s collection, which he calls blockchain art, art minted on the blockchain or on-chain art, as opposed to NFTs.
This is the latest step by LACMA to highlight digital art, following its current exhibition “Coded: Art Enters the Computer Age, 1952–1982” and a Paris Hilton–supported fund to buy digital artworks by female artists. LACMA CEO Michael Govan and Director Wallis Annenberg said the museum’s programming has been central to the intersection of art and technology since the 1960s, and it’s fitting that LACMA would receive the first museum collection of blockchain art.
LACMA is not the only museum to acquire NFTs; the Centre Pompidou recently announced that it had acquired a small collection of NFTs, and last November, Yuga Labs donated a Crypto Punk to the ICA Miami. In addition to de’ Medici’s donated pieces, LACMA will also include several other works of minted generative art in its collection, such as John Gerrard’s “Petrol National” series works and the Chromie Squiggles by Erick Calderon, founder of the generative art NFT platform Art Blocks.
Calderon will donate the last Chromie Squiggle, which he minted two years ago, to LACMA. The donation passed board approval, and Calderon is now getting ready to send it to the museum. Calderon told ARTnews that Art Blocks almost single-handedly put generative art on the map, which gave it a home and enabled a conversation and community to form around it that did not exist before. He said he was humbled to have played a part in that process.