Paris' renowned Centre Pompidou will show a collection of NFT art it has added to its collection, marking another step on the medium's road to artworld acceptance.
One of the top modern art museums in Europe has embraced NFTs, adding a dozen and a half blockchain-related pieces to its permanent collection.
The renowned Center Pompidou in Paris acquired the NFTs as part of a collection of 18 works by 13 French and international artists, the museum said on Friday.
The Centre Pompidou — formally the National Museum of Modern Art — claimed the collection makes it "the very first institution dedicated to modern and contemporary art to acquire a set of works dealing with the relationship between blockchain and artistic creation."
In a statement, it said:
"Coming from diverse practices and cultures such as crypto art, plastic arts or new media, these works reflect the astonishing richness of the forms of artistic creation linked to the blockchain."
CryptoPunks Make the Cut
This included the donation of CryptoPunk #110, given by project owner Yuga Labs.
By acquiring the CryptoPunk, "the Centre Pompidou is pursuing its interest in digital art, in connection with the blockchain," said Xavier Rey, director of the National Museum of Modern Art, in a release. He added:
"Web3 is an innovative territory that artists have now seized upon to create original and daring work, and this collection reaffirms our support for artists in their conquest of new means of expression, which is the foundation of modern art."
It is not the first museum to acquire NFTs. however. Yuga Labs also gave a CryptoPunk, #305, to the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Miami at Art Basel 2022.
"Our collection, as well as our exhibitions and programs, seek to take on some of the most pressing and topical art and ideas that are happening today," said Alex Gartenfeld, ICA Miami's artistic director, told the New York Times in November. "Over the last two or three years, one of the most ubiquitous and transformative conversations has been around how artists explore and develop their creativity through NFTs."
More broadly, NFTs are being acquired under the broader category of digital art.
While that has a three-decade-long history, Gartenfeld said, it now finds itself "at the center of the marketplace" and public attention.
That's even as NFTs have slipped out of the center of public attention as their value plummeted with the broader crypto market in 2022
Which hasn't stopped museums from embracing them commercially, the Times noted. Both the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy and The British Museum in London have sold copies of their traditional works as NFTs.