British Museum Partners New Exhibition with NFT Sales
Author: Rachel Martin
As museums attempt to keep up with the digital age, the British Museum is selling NFTs of famous Japanese artist, Hokusai’s, works. This includes his famous piece; The Great Wave off Kanagawa. These sales are in conjunction with an exhibition of Hokusai’s works that has just opened at the British Museum and will be on view until the end of January.
The goal of these NFT sales is to bring a younger audience to the British Museum. Christie’s reported that 73 percent of the registrants for their NFT auctions had never bid at the auction house previously. While many museums are using NFT sales to soften the blows of pandemic-related financial problems, the British Museum is interested in tapping into the younger buyers as a new audience.
The sales of Hokusai’s works will be sold on tiers of “rarity”. Some works will be offered in editions of 1-10,000, while The Great Wave will only have two NFTs available, making it “ultra-rare”. The French start-up involved with these sales, LaCollection, compares these NFTs to traditional museum postcards. The main difference is that the NFTs are unique, digital editions of the work that are easy to resell. The original creator of the NFT, who is in this case the British Museum, will continue to receive royalties from the future sales of the NFTs sold.
Galleries around the world are taking advantage of the NFT craze, selling works in their collection as digital copies for various reasons. The British Museum is not the first, nor certainly the last to participate in this trend.