British Museum Enters NFT World with Hokusai Digital Postcards | Non-fungible tokens (NFT)
The British Museum is venturing into the emerging world of non-fungible tokens by partnering with a new platform to launch digital postcards of the work of Katsushika Hokusai.
NFTs – unique digital assets stored on the blockchain – have taken hold of the arts sector since digital artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, made history in March by selling an NFT for $ 69. , $ 4 million.
The new NFT platform dedicated to museum and institutional collections, called LaCollection, will launch on September 30 and aims to inspire the next generation of collectors and art lovers by selling NFTs in collaboration with leading institutions.
It is hoped that, co-produced by the British Museum, the Hokusai postcards will bring the work of one of Japan’s most famous artists into the digital realm.
The launch coincides with the opening of the Hokusai exhibition, The Great Picture Book of Everything at the British Museum, which will feature 103 drawings by Hokusai that have never been seen before. The works were produced in the years 1820-1840 for an illustrated encyclopedia which was never published.
Over 200 Hokusai NFT artworks will be available for purchase online, including digital images of well-known prints by the artist, such as Under the Wave, Off Kanagawa, Clear Day with a Southern Breeze, and Ejiri. in Suruga Provence. Lesser-known works will also be available, including drawings from the recently rediscovered The Great Big Picture Book of Everything.
NFTs will be sold at a fixed price, while others will be auctioned.
“We are very excited to partner with LaCollection and explore innovative ways to engage in the growing NFT market,” said Craig Bendle, Head of Licensing at the British Museum. “It’s so important that as a museum we continually adapt to new markets and find new ways to reach people that we may not be reaching through traditional channels.”
Bendle added, “The NFT space is new to a lot of people, so allowing them to enter the market in a simple and straightforward way is very exciting.”
Jean-Sébastien Beaucamps, co-founder and CEO of LaCollection, said it was an “honor to be associated with the British Museum”.
“LaCollection was born from two passions: art and technology,” he said. “We hope that the platform will attract new audiences, those who have never visited the British Museum or who have never been interested in their vast collection and provide the opportunity to discover its collection in new and exciting ways.”
This summer, the Whitworth Gallery launched the first museum-accredited NFT. The image was generated from The Ancient of Days by William Blake, one of the most widely reproduced images in the gallery’s collection.
An incident earlier this month, in which a collector bought a fake Banksy NFT for £ 244,000, highlighted vulnerabilities in NFT trading.