Like the MFA’s inaugural NFT collection, this launch includes rarely exhibited French pastels from the 19th century. This collection is based on 11 artworks from the MFA’s holdings, including Claude Monet’s “View of the Sea at Sunset” (1862), “Dandelions” (1867-68) and “Farmyard by Moonlight” (1868) by Jean-François Millet, and “Dancers in Rose” (1900) by Edgar Degas.
The collection will be available in February on laCollection.
Ahead of the drop, laCollection will offer a free mint of Degas’s painting “Racehorses at Longchamp” (1871) on their website until January 30. Those who claim the NFT will gain access to preferred prices during the NFT presale, along with the chance to win further discounts at the MFA’s bookstore, a behind-the-scenes visit to the museum’s imaging studio to see how artworks are digitized, and tickets to a Frieze art fair.
Why It Matters
The MFA is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world; its collections hold nearly 500,000 works of art.
This NFT collection — and the MFA’s broader partnership with LaCollection — is exciting because it leverages new technology to bring the MFA’s rarely exhibited collected works to life for a new generation of collectors and art lovers. It is practically impossible to display all of the MFA’s vast collection of art at once. NFTs could be a partial answer to making massive collections more accessible, accelerating the rate of public access to never-seen works, as well as a means to support the museum’s digitalization efforts.
In practical terms, this is what this collection is doing: supporting conservation efforts and conservator study. Proceeds of the NFT collections will go towards the conservation of two Degas paintings, “Edmondo & Thérèse Morbilli” (1865) and “Father Listening to Lorenzo Pagans Playing the Guitar” (1869-72), as was the case in the first NFT collection from July 2022.
The MFA has also been adept at integrating its virtual NFT offerings with its IRL ones. Perks like gift shop discounts and access to special events via NFT purchases are an easy means to attract people to explore the museum, reaching a broader, more diverse audience. This is quite aligned with the MFA’s recent rebrand by Base Design, which touts the slogan “here all belong.”
What They Said
“We’re excited to continue our partnership with laCollection and begin the second phase of sharing our Treasures from the Vault. Phase one surpassed our expectations in many ways, generating far-reaching engagement with thousands of people from 200 countries participating […] We hope art enthusiasts everywhere will start their digital collections with the MFA freemint.”
— Eric Woods, Chief Operating Officer at the MFA:
“laCollection is thrilled to pursue its partnership with one of the world’s largest museums in the world. The first collection has proven that Web3 can help museums share their incredible collection of works with a global community. With this second collection, MFA enthusiasts will be able to discover other rarely exhibited Impressionist pastels from the MFA’s renowned collection through a new way of collecting artworks that changed the course of art history.”
— Jean-Sébastien Beaucamps, CEO and Co-Founder at laCollection