WAC Resources

Blockchain Use Cases for Museums - The List

Blockchain Use Cases for Museums
This article presents a non-exhaustive list of the different use cases of blockchain technologies for museums. In some cases, as no museum project has yet been set up, the examples are missing or come from similar projects.
This article has been collaboratively authored in partnership with the WAC Lab team and contributions from the WAC Weekly participants. Please contact us if some projects are missing.

1. Digital Asset Management

Blockchain-Based Art Registry
A system that records and tracks digital artworks on a blockchain, ensuring their integrity and provenance.

Collection Preservation
Ensuring the security and integrity of the museum’s collections via digital replicas.

Examples:
  • The Ministry of Digital Transformation in Ukraine launched Meta History: Museum of War, on the blockchain (March 2022, Kiev, Ukraine)
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source

  • The Congolese Plantation Workers Art League (CATPC) made a radical instance of digital decolonization towards the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts by tokenizing the 25 inches-tall wooden statue labeled a Diviner’s Figure, originating from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (February 2022, Lusanga, Congo)
Provider: Human Activities
Blockchain: Ethereum / Zora
Source: https://jingculturecrypto.com/catpc-balot-nft-vmfa-human-activities/ / https://balot.org/ / https://www.humanactivities.org/en/balot/ / https://jpg.space/CATPC/exhibition/Balot

  • The Shanghai Museum launched their own NFT platform presenting digital replicas of their collections and an NFT collection inspired by the museum, on their own blockchain protocol (August 2022, Shanghai, China)
Blockchain: Shangbo Chain
Source: https://jingculturecrypto.com/shanghai-museum-museum-of-the-sea-shangbo-nfts-blockchain

  • The Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum launched their NFT collection from digital editions of physical works by 24 notable European and Ukrainian artists, to support their security and conservation systems (October 2022, Lviv, Ukraine)
Provider: V-Art + dslcollection
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://jingculturecrypto.com/national-museum-lviv-v-art-alternative-dimensions-nft-collection/

2. Authentication and Provenance

Artifact Provenance Verification
Blockchain records track the history of an artifact, from its creation to its current location.

Examples:
  • The company Kapu launched their own cryptocurrency in order to revolutionize how archaeological and heritage data are stored, preserved, and made accessible (October 2017, Capua, Italy)
Provider: Kapu
Blockchain: SmartBridge
Source: Archaeology and blockchain: a social science data revolution?

Secure Museum Record Storage
Safeguarding museum records and exhibition histories on the blockchain.

Industry-Wide Loan
Museums collaborate to establish a streamlined platform for sharing artifacts and exhibits across the industry. This initiative enhances cultural exchange, fosters collaboration, and optimizes resource utilization, leading to enriching museum experiences for visitors.

3. Ownership and Transactions

Blockchain Auction Platform
A decentralized platform for auctioning museum items, enabling transparent and secure transactions.

Museum Cryptocurrency
Museums launch their cryptocurrency and marketplace, enabling streamlined transactions for tickets, memberships, and collectibles. Enhancing visitor engagement, this ecosystem ensures museum sustainability and fosters vibrant cultural exchanges.

Examples:
  • The Guggenheim launched their own cryptocurrency and marketplace: the cåi for their online exhibition Åzone Future Market and physical installation in New York (July 2016, New York, United States)
Provider: FOAM
Source: Guggenheim Ventures into the Future with Its Own Cryptocurrency

4. Audience Engagement

On-Chain Art and NFT Art Exhibitions
This category is the most populated in examples, therefore, we listed here the first and main exhibitions around the topic of NFTs or blockchain technologies.

Examples:
  • The exhibition Hammer Projects: Simon Denny presents the economic and social opportunities of Blockchain technology through his sculptural installation (January 2017, Los Angeles, United States)
Hammer Projects: Simon Denny | Hammer Museum

  • The exhibition Open Codes part of the program “The World as a Field of Data” at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media (October 2017, Karlsruhe, Germany)
Open Codes | 20.10.2017 - 00:00 to 02.06.2019 - 00:00 | ZKM

  • The State Hermitage Museum exhibited a group show “Innovation as Artistic Technique” featuring Kevin Abosch’s work (June 2018, St Petersburg, Russia)
Portrait of the artist as a bitcoin: When cryptocurrency meets conceptual art

  • The exhibition Proof of Work curated by Simon Denny in dialogue with Distributed Gallery at Schinkel Pavillon (September 2018, Berlin, Germany)
Schinkel Pavillon

  • König Gallery and the curator Anika Meier presented the group exhibition The Artist is Online with 50 artists also selling their artworks through NFTs (March 2021, Berlin, Germany)
Blockchain: Ethereum
As the Market for Digital Art Heats Up, König Galerie Is Hosting a Show on the Virtual Blockchain World Decentraland

  • CryptoArt - It's Not About Money” exhibition at ZKM Centre for Art and Media (April 2021, Karlsruhe, Germany)
Blockchain: Bitcoin + Ethereum
CryptoArt | Wed, 07.04. – Sun, 18.07., daily 9 am–11 pm | ZKM

  • Pieces of Me is an exhibition by Transfer Gallery that is posed as an offering to the aggregate hype of the emerging global NFT marketplace. Installed online in partnership with left.gallery, this panoramic group show invites dialogue about more equitable markets, custodial care, and contextualizing efforts in crypto-focused art (April 2021, United States)
Pieces of Me ::: NFT Exhibition

  • The exhibition PROOF OF ART – A brief history of NFTs at the Francisco Carolinum Museum curated by Jesse Damiani, co-curated by Fabian Müller and Markus Reindl (June 2021, Linz, Austria)
PROOF OF ART – A brief history of NFTs

  • “The Ethereal Aether” exhibition at the State Hermitage Museum (November 2021, St Petersburg, Russia)
Blockchain: Ethereum + Tezos
‘Ethereal Aether’: World’s largest museum launches NFT art exhibition

  • “Out of the Anthropocene” exhibition at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art (November 2021, Beijing, China)
走出人类世 | 聚变效应,打造未来科学艺术创作样本

  • NfTNeTArT – from Net Art to Art NFT brings together nine international artists that use algorithmic or generative systems as their artistic language at Panke Gallery and OFFICE IMPART (February 2022, Berlin, Germany)
NfTNeTArT – from Net Art to Art NFT · panke.gallery

  • From 18 May to 31 July 2022 Palazzo Strozzi hosted Let’s Get Digital! an exhibition bringing the NFT art revolution and the new borderline between the real and the digital to the Strozzina undercroft and the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi, with works by such international artists as Refik Anadol, Anyma, Daniel Arsham, Beeple, Krista Kim and Andrés Reisinger (May 2022, Florence, Italy)
Provider: Cinello
Let's Get Digital! - Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi

  • From 16 July to 19 August, 2022, the Francisco Carolinum Museum in Linz exhibited the "Non-Fungible Body" as the first edition of a festival dedicated to performance art, archived on the blockchain.
https://www.ooekultur.at/exhibition-detail/the-non-fungible-body-ausstellung

  • Curated by Nina Roehrs, the exhibition DYOR at the Kunsthalle Zürich focuses on artists, projects and platforms that have had a significant influence on how the crypto art scene has developed and is today (October 8, 2022, Zürich, Switzerland)
Blockchain: Ethereum + Tezos
https://dyor.kunsthallezurich.ch/

  • The Buffalo AKG Art Museum commissioned 13 artists for the exhibition “Peer to Peer” (November 2022, Buffalo, United States)
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://feralfile.com/exhibitions/peer-to-peer-pjb?tab=Info
Peer to Peer | Buffalo AKG Art Museum

  • Refik Anadol uses machine learning and NFTs to interpret over 200 years worth of MoMa’s collection in his exhibition “Unsupervised: MoMA seen through the mind of a machine” (November 2022, New York, United States)
Provider: FeralFile
Blockchain: Ethereum + Tezos (for the free NFT to be redeemed)
'It's All Machine-Made': Crossover NFT Art Star Refik Anadol's New Installation at MoMA Lets A.I. Do the Creating, Generating, and Dreaming | Artnet News

  • The “Notes From the Ether” exhibition at the ArtScience Museum gathered 20 artists who grapple with two rapidly developing fields—blockchain and artificial intelligence—and have unlocked multiple opportunities for artistic creation and audience engagement. (August 2023, Singapore)
Notes From the Ether: From NFTs To AI | Exhibitions in Singapore | ArtScience Museum

  • The international group exhibition «Exploring the Decentralized Web – Art on the Blockchain» at HEK - Haus der Electronic Arts reviews the recent developments of blockchain and Web3 from an artistic perspective (September 2, 2023, Basel, Switzerland)
Exploring the Decentralized Web - Art on the Blockchain - HEK

  • Presented from October 19, 2023, to May 27, 2024, at the Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, the group exhibition "CallArt3 The Virtual Window" includes an on-chain artwork by Ana-Maria Caballero and Ivona Tau called "City Life" (October 2023 to May 2024, Wroclaw, Poland)
CallArt3 The Virtual Window

Digital Collectible Souvenirs
Museums leverage blockchain technology to create and distribute digital collectibles, in the form of NFTs, offering art enthusiasts and cultural aficionados an immersive and engaging way to connect with heritage. Digital collectibles are for free, already minted and waiting to be redeemed.

Examples:
  • A group of 21 Chinese institutions contributed to Alipay's 'Five Fortunes' campaign by providing digital replicas from their collections. Visitors are invited to scan relics at participating museums using the Alipay app to unlock exclusive fortune cards. These fortune cards can then be used to redeem 3D digital collectibles (February 2022, China)
Provider: Alipay
Blockchain: n/a
Alipay And 24 Chinese Museums Drop Chinese New Year-Themed NFTs - Jing Culture & Crypto

  • The National Gallery Singapore’s Art x Tech convergence product innovation lab, ‘Y-Lab’, along with their web3 partner, has displayed their prototype NFT vending machine that gives out physical tokens, which can be redeemed for free NFT artwork created by Singaporean artist, The Next Most Famous Artist. The museum hopes to engage visitors and showcase Singaporean art in a new and innovative way through this initiative (October 2022, Singapore)
Provider: ArtWallStreet and The Next Most Famous Artist
Redeem free NFT artwork from a vending machine at National Gallery Singapore

  • During Amsterdam Dance Event last year, the NxtMuseum presented live minting and limited edition NFT drops (October 2022, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Provider: VerticalCrypto Art
Blockchain: Tezos
Nxt Museum x VerticalCryptoArt - Nxt Museum

  • At MoMA, Refik Anadol uses machine learning and NFTs to interpret over 200 years worth of MoMa’s collection in his exhibition “Unsupervised: MoMA seen through the mind of a machine” (November 2022, New York, United States)
Provider: FeralFile
Blockchain: Ethereum + Tezos (for the free NFT to be redeemed)

  • At the Echoes 2023 Festival held at Haus der Kunst, every attendee was given a printed card containing an NFT created by Sarah Friend. This unique project by the artist allowed festivalgoers to actively participate in blockchain technology and create their own NFTs, forming a "digital echo" (July 2023, Munich, Germany)
Provider: WAC Lab / Sarah Friend
Blockchain: Polygon
Sarah Friend. Künstler*innengespräch - Haus der Kunst

  • The MoMA Postcard project is a collaborative digital chain letter where participants design and sign postcards with 15 blank stamps, creating an interactive blockchain adventure. Participants can purchase physical goods from the postcards they contribute to without needing crypto, a previous wallet, or KYC, and no personal information is collected. Minted postcards can also be traded on objkt, and participation begins by scanning a QR code (October 2023, New York, United States)
Provider: Autonomy / FeralFile
Blockchain: Tezos
MoMA Postcard | MoMA

Interactive Exhibition: NFT Live Minting
Museum visitors have the opportunity to create personalized NFTs during their exhibition visit, allowing them to capture and take home a digital token representing their unique experience.

Examples:
  • Together with LAS Art Foundation, the artist Ian Cheng integrated an NFT experience in his exhibition “Life After BOB” visitor journey. Each NFT is unique and personalized for each visitor (September 2022, Berlin, Germany)
Provider: TZ Connect
Blockchain: Tezos
Source: https://www.las-art.foundation/explore/how-to-mint-your-true-name-nft

  • Art Basel Miami Beach hosted an exhibition entitled Performance in Code, Deciphering Value in Generative Art where visitors can mint and claim a piece of generated art on the spot with the scan of a QR code (December 2022, Miami, United States)
Provider: fx(hash)
Blockchain: Tezos
Source: https://jingculturecrypto.com/could-generative-art-nfts-entice-visitors-back-to-museums/

  • Serpentine Galleries presented Gabriel Massan’s “Third World” exhibition and video game where visitors can turn part of their gameplay into an NFT which goes back to the game as an archive (July 2023, London, United Kingdom)
Provider: Serpentine Arts Technologies
Blockchain: Tezos
Source: https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/whats-on/third-world-the-bottom-dimension/

5. Community Building

Museum Attendance NFT
Visitors collect an NFT as proof of their attendance at a specific exhibition or museum, creating a unique and verifiable digital record of their museum experience, and opening options for future membership programs.

Examples:
  • The Nxt Museum invited audiences of the UFO exhibition to scan QR codes to unlock and collect free Proof-of-Attendance Protocol badges (POAPs) (June 2023, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Provider: POAP
Blockchain: Gnosis
Source: https://jingculturecrypto.com/nxt-museum-ufo-poap-nft/
POAPs can be seen here: https://poap.family/events/47277,47278,47279,48641

  • During the exhibition "Realtime" at the Nxt Museum, viewers of the artwork by Amelia Winger Bearskin were invited to collect of POAP to prove their presence in this unique moment (May - November 2023, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Provider: POAP
Blockchain: Gnosis
POAPs can be seen here: https://collectors.poap.xyz/drop/126077

  • Visitors of the RANDOM INTERNATIONAL exhibition at the Nxt Museum can collect a POAP as a commemoration of the exhibition (September 2023 - June 2024, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Provider: POAP
Blockchain: Gnosis
POAP's can be seen here: https://collectors.poap.xyz/drop/150722

Community-Driven DAO
Museum embrace decentralization by opening a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) where the community actively participates in suggesting and shaping curatorial or strategic decisions. This innovative approach fosters inclusivity, empowering enthusiasts and experts alike to contribute their insights, thereby co-creating the museum's exhibitions and programs.

Examples:
  • The Guggenheim launched their own cryptocurrency and marketplace: the cåi for their online exhibition Åzone Future Market and physical installation in New York (July 2016, New York, United States)
Provider: FOAM
Blockchain: Heroku
Source: https://hyperallergic.com/308851/guggenheim-ventures-into-the-future-with-its-own-cryptocurrency/

  • HEK (House of Electronic Arts) launched a tokenized membership and an extended circle of friends through a Discord-based DAO called “Friends of HEK”
Provider: Hypha
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://friends.hek.ch/#/en

Blockchain-Based Community Contributions
Encouraging community participation in museum projects.

Examples:
  • Crypto Connections: Exploring the Personal by The National Museums Liverpool (July 2021, Liverpool, United Kingdom)
Source: https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/collections/cryptoconnections / https://jingculturecrypto.com/national-museums-liverpool-crypto-connections/

6. Fundraising

Transparent Fundraising Campaigns
Using blockchain for transparent donation tracking.

Examples:
  • Cryptocurrency donation now being accepted at Buffalo History Museum (December 2021, Buffalo, United States)
Provider: every.org
Blockchain: Bitcoin, Ethereum
Source: https://cryptocourtyard.com/2021/12/cryptocurrency-donation-now-being-accepted-at-buffalo-history-museum/

  • The Tretyakov Gallery launched a mobile app inviting people to support the restauration of the collection by becoming digital patrons through “patronage digital tokens” (December 2018, Moscow, Russia)
Provider: Riddle & Code
Blockchain: BigChainDB
Source: https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2018/12/18/moscows-tretyakov-gallery-develops-blockchain-app-to-bring-russian-art-to-the-world

NFT Auctions and Perpetual Donations
Museums collaborate with auction houses to host NFT auctions as fundraisers. Proceeds from sales support charitable causes, while secondary market transactions continue generating perpetual donations, ensuring ongoing support for the museum or NGO's initiatives.

Examples:
  • The Foundation Herbert W. Franke, in collaboration with Anika Meier, invited 80 artists to donate artworks in tribute to the late artist. The fundraiser raised €100,000 to preserve Herbert W. Franke written legacy through the donation of €20,000 to the ZKM, and to support Namibian students in computer science (August 2022)
Blockchain: Ethereum + Tezos
Source: https://www.tribute-hwf.com/
ZKM receives generous donation for the digitization of Herbert W. Franke's manuscripts | ZKM

  • Alex Estorick (Right Click Save) and Foteini Valeonti (Useum) partnered with Artwise and Bonhams to host an auction to raise funds for Cure Parkinson (€270,000 were raised). For the project Cure³, seven generative artists have been commissioned new artworks including Anna Carreras, Anna Lucia, Lunarean, Nat Sarkissian, Marcelo Soria-Rodríguez, Iskra Velitchkova, and Yazid (January 2023, London, United Kingdom)
Provider: fxhash
Blockchain: Ethereum
A New Model of Charitable Giving in Web3

  • Right Click Save, ArtBlocks and VerticalCrypto Art partnered with the artist Snowfro to raise funds for the ALS Association (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). The auction has raised $265,000 (May 2023)
Provider: TheGivingBlock
Blockchain: Ethereum
Squiggles Bring Out the Best in Web3 in Tribute to Hal Finney

Limited Editions Digital Replicas
Using blockchain, museums offer limited edition of digital replicas of prized artworks, guaranteeing their authenticity and scarcity, while providing collectors with transparent ownership records.

Examples:
  • Hokusai Postcards by the British Museum (February 2021, London, United Kingdom)
Provider: LaCollection (France)
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://www.lacollection.io/fine-art/hokusai

  • The Uffizi Gallery sold works by Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo as an NFT in a bid to recoup losses from the Pandemic (May 2021, Florence, Italy)
Provider: Cinello
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2022/06/13/uffizi-gallery-makes-only-euro70000-from-michelangelo-nft-that-sold-for-euro240000

  • The Ancient of Days by William Blake sold by The Whitworth Museum as NFT (July 2021, United Kingdom)
Provider: Vastari Labs
Blockchain: Tezos
Source: https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2021/07/23/the-whitworth-gallery-in-manchester-mints-a-william-blake-nft-in-aid-of-community-causes

  • The State Hermitage Museum sold digital replicas of their masterpieces from Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Leonardo da Vinci, as NFTs (August 2021, St Petersburg, Russia).
Provider: Binance
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/hermitage-museum-nfts-monet-leonardo-1234600031/ / https://www.binance.com/en/nft/events/winterpalace

  • Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa ('SCML') tokenized part of their 500-year collection of art, relics, reliquaries, sculptures and modern artworks to be sold as digital twins. (December 2021, Lisbon, Portugal)
Blockchain: Polygon
Source: https://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/santa-casa-da-misericordia-de-lisboa-embraces-digital-art-and-nfts-with-the-launch-of-artentik-822725493.html

  • Replicas of J.M.W. Turner’s watercolours sold in NFTs by the British Museum (January 2022, London, United Kingdom)
Provider: LaCollection (France)
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://www.lacollection.io/fine-art/turner

  • As the first cultural institution launching NFTs in France, the Fondation Vasarely sold digital replicas of artworks to support their renovation (April 2022, Aix-en-Provence, France)
Provider: Selfridges and Charli Cohen (+ MoonPay)
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://www.fondationvasarely.org/en/events/nft/

  • Digital replicas of drawings by Piranesi sold by the British Museum (April 2022, London, United Kingdom)
Provider: LaCollection (France)
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://www.lacollection.io/fine-art/piranesi

  • Digital replicas of Egon Schiele’s work sold by the Leopold Museum (April 2022, Vienna, Austria)
Provider: LaCollection (France)
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://www.leopoldmuseum.org/en/press/news/1249/TIMELESS-REFLECTIONS-THE-ORIGINAL-EGON-SCHIELE-NFT-COLLECTION

  • Digital replicas of artworks by Degas sold by the Museum of Fine Art of Boston (March 2023, Boston, United States)
Provider: LaCollection (France)
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://www.mfa.org/collections/mfa-nft-collection

  • The Jackson Pollock Studio sold digital replicas of part of Pollock’s studio floor, with a corresponding physical print (July 2023, New York, United States)
Provider: Iconic Moments
Blockchain: Ethereum + Bitcoin
Source: https://news.artnet.com/market/jackson-pollock-studio-floor-nfts-2336413

  • The National Museum Thyssen Mint Exclusive Collection of Van Gogh NFTs and Provide Exclusive Benefits to Collectors (July 2023, Madrid, Spain)
Provider: Olyverse
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://www.museothyssen.org/en/special/olyverse-vessenots-van-gogh

NFT Art Commission for Fundraising
Museums commission artists to create digital art inspired by their collections, which is then sold as NFTs to generate new sources of revenue.

Examples:
  • The House of Lobkowicz commissioned Jan Kovářík, Matthew Stone and Obvious to produce new artworks inspired by the Lobkowicz Collections. The funds supported the renovation of the collection. (October 2021, Prague, Czech Republic)
Provider: Provenance Collective
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://www.lobkowicz.cz/en/nfts

  • The White House Historical Association commissioned the artist Linda Dounia Rebeiz to reinterpret an iconic artwork from the White House Collection and sell the digital art as NFTs (August 2022, Washington, United States)
Provider: Iconic Moments
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://jingculturecrypto.com/white-house-historical-association-whha-proof-collective-iconic-moments-nft-linda-dounia-alma-thomas/ / https://www.whitehousehistory.org/press-room/press-releases/iconic-moments-partners-with-white-house-historical-association-to-produce-nft-art-for-proof-collectives-grails-ii-release

  • The House of Lobkowicz commissioned Daniel Arsham, Ham Van Der Dorpel and many others to produce new artworks. The funds supported the renovation of Dvořák Birth House. (October 2022, Prague, Czech Republic)
Provider: Provenance Collective
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://www.nfcastle.com/

  • The Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum commissioned digital artworks to be sold as NFTs to raise funds for conservation (October 2022, Lviv, Ukraine)
Provider: V-Art
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://jingculturecrypto.com/nation-museum-lviv-v-art-alternative-dimentions-nft-artists-ukraine-art/

  • The Buffalo AKG Art Museum commissioned 13 artists for the exhibition and sale “Peer to Peer” in order to support the renovation of the museum (November 2022, Buffalo, United States)
Provider: FeralFile
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://buffaloakg.org/art/exhibitions/peer-peer / https://feralfile.com/exhibitions/peer-to-peer-pjb?tab=Info

  • MoMA commissioned the artist Refik Anadol to reinterpret more than 200 years of art from MoMA’s collection and create a new series of digital art exhibited at the museum, and sold as NFTs (November 2022, New York, United States)
Provider: FeralFile
Blockchain: Bitmark
Source: https://feralfile.com/exhibitions/unsupervised-sla / https://refikanadol.com/works-old/unsupervised/ /

  • The Opéra de Paris collaborated with the artist collective OBVIOUS on a new series to be sold as NFTs to support the Opéra’s renovation (February 2023, Paris, France)
Provider: Polyconseil
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://nft.operadeparis.fr/ / https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/news/the-paris-opera-launches-its-first-nft-collection

  • The Monnaie de Paris commissioned the digital artist Robert Alice to produce new artworks inspired by the museum, which was then exhibited and sold as NFTs (June 2023, Paris, France)
Provider: LaCollection
Blockchain: Ethereum
Exposition NFT - Babel, Robert Alice

  • "Remembrance of Things Future" is a blockchain project launched in support of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This initial release features limited edition artworks, with upcoming phases including generative works by Monica Rizzolli and William Mapan, as well as collaborations with 0xDEAFBEEF, Tyler Hobbs, and other digital artists. (March 2023, Los Angeles, United States)
Provider: Cactoid Labs
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: https://lacma.cactoidlabs.io/
Remembrance of Things Future: A Conversation with 0xDEAFBEEF, Artist Experimenting on the Blockchain

  • HEK - House of Electronic Arts commissioned Leander Herzog a new series of generative art (June 2023, Basel, Switzerland)
Provider: fx(hash)
Blockchain: Tezos
HEK NFT Shop

  • City of Paris and La Fondation pour la Sauvegarde de l'Art Français commissioned the artist Claire Adelfang with a new series of photographs sold as NFTs to support the renovation of the Saint-Étienne-du-Mont Church (September 2023, Paris, France)
Provider: Danae + Catawiki
Blockchain: Ethereum
DANAE.IO

Fractionalized Masterpiece
Museums divide a digital replica of a masterpiece into fractions and sells limited editions of these fractions as NFTs, allowing art enthusiasts to own a share of a renowned artwork's digital representation.

Examples:
  • Maecenas collaborated with the marketplace Dadiani Syndicate to sell a tokenised version of a multi-million dollar artwork, a painting by Andy Warhol named "14 Small Electric Chairs (1980), to 100 collectors (September 2018, New York, United States)
Provider: Maecenas
Blockchain: Bitcoin + Ethereum + Maecenas
Maecenas successfully tokenises first multi-million dollar artwork on the blockchain

  • The Belvedere Museum sold factions a high definition digital edition of the masterpiece “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt (February 2022, Vienna, Austria).
Provider: ArtèQ
Blockchain: https://thekiss.art/
Illustrations of the physical display at the museum: The Kiss NFTs at the Belvedere Museum

Digital Souvenir
Museum visitors have the option to buy digital souvenirs related to an exhibition from the museum shop or an NFT marketplace, providing them with unique digital keepsakes to commemorate their visit, and even giving them access to specific benefits.

Examples:
  • The Grand Palais Immersif offers visitors to collect a piece of the exhibition (September 2022, Paris, France)
Provider: LaCollection
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: Emportez votre premier souvenir numérique NFT

  • The Aquarium de Paris launched a collection of 1,234 scientifically accurate NFTs. Each NFT gives access to special benefits, such as unlimited free access to the aquarium (December 2022, Paris, France)
Provider: Metaseum
Blockchain: Ethereum
Aquarium de Paris - Metaseum

  • The Château de Chantilly launched their digital souvenir (January 2023, France)
Provider: Keru
Blockchain: Tezos
Le Château de Chantilly lance ses premiers souvenirs digitaux en NFT avec une start-up française

  • The Grand Palais Immersif invites visitors to collect part of the Mucha exhibition for 3 euros (March 2023, Paris, France)
Provider: LaCollection
Blockchain: Ethereum
Source: Et si Éternel Mucha s'invitait chez vous ?

  • The Musée d’Orsay invites visitors to buy a digital souvenir of the Van Gogh exhibition in their shops (October 2023, Paris, France)
Provider: Keru
Blockchain: Tezos
Musée d’Orsay Embraces NFTs in Push to Reach New Audiences - Decrypt

7. Permanent Collection

On-Chain Art or NFT Art Acquisition
Museums accept donations or acquire art that is stored on the blockchain (NFT Art) but also art which is actually created within the blockchain environment (On-Chain Art), where the blockchain itself becomes a novel and innovative artistic medium.

Examples:
  • Acquisition of Event Listeners by Harm van den Dorpel (work cryptographically authenticated through Bitcoin Blockchain) by the MAK Vienna (April 2015, Vienna, Austria)
Blockchain: Bitcoin
MAK Vienna Becomes First Museum to Use Bitcoin to Acquire Art, a Harm van den Dorpel

  • ZKM acquired several NFTs, including a notable Cryptopunk they no longer have access to in 2017. In Spring 2021, they showcased these in an exhibition named "Crypto art. It’s not about money" (December 2017, Karlsruhe, Germany)
CryptoArt | Wed, 07.04. – Sun, 18.07., daily 9 am–11 pm | ZKM

  • Donation of Eve Sussman’s 89 Seconds Atomized to the Whitney Museum of American Art (June 2019 New York, United States)
Provider: Snark.art
Blockchain: Ethereum
Eve Sussman | 89 Seconds at Alcázar

  • Jennifer and Kevin McCoy's "Public Key/Private Key" displayed at the Whitney Museum delves into the idea of art ownership in museums (March 2019, Whitney Museum, United States)
Provider: Monograph
Jennifer and Kevin McCoy: Public Key / Private Key

  • The artist John Gerrard donated an edition from his series “Petrol National” to LACMA (2021, Los Angeles, United States)

  • NFT by Guido Kucsko acquired by the Museum Francisco Carolinum Linz as a self-experimentation on the legal implications of adding an NFT to a museum’s collection (June 2021, Linz, Austria)
Provider: Schönherr
Blockchain: Ethereum
Schönherr und Museum Francisco Carolinum schaffen Klarheit für NFT-Kunst

  • A network visualization made for the exhibition BarabásiLab: Hidden Patterns. The Language of Network Thinking has been minted as NFT and acquired by the Ludwig Museum (July 2021, Budapest, Hungary)
Blockchain: Ethereum
The First NFT Work in a Hungarian Museum Collection

  • Donation of CryptoPunk 5293 to the ICA Miami, gifted from Eduardo Burillo (July 2021, Miami, United States)
Blockchain: Ethereum
Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami Acquires CryptoPunks NFT Through Eduardo Burillo

  • EPFL Pavilions purchased Atom #1590 by Eve Sussman (in collaboration with Snark.art) which has become the first NFT to join EPFL’s artworks collection (February 2022, Lausanne, Switzerland)
Blockchain: Ethereum
Press Release - EPFL Pavilions acquires its first NFT – EPFL Pavilions

  • LACMA’s Art and Tech Lab acquired the entire virtual exhibition ECHOES by EPOCH Gallery (February 2022, Los Angeles, United States)
Provider: EPOCH Gallery
Blockchain: Algorand
Echoes | EPOCH Gallery | February 4 – May 13, 2022

  • HEK - House of Electronic Arts acquired “The D1ck #0770” and "The D1ck #5056” by UBERMORGEN (March 2022, Basel, Switzerland)
Blockchain: Tezos
Ubermorgen, The D1ck #5056 - HEK

  • LACMA launched Art Acquisition Fund for Digital art by Women Artists, an initiative spearheaded by Paris Hilton. They started the collection by acquiring Krista Kim and Shantell Martin’s NFTs (June 9th, 2022)
LACMA Announces New Acquisition Fund for Digital Art by Women Artists

  • The Buffalo AKG Art Museum commissioned 13 artists for the exhibition “Peer to Peer” (November 2022, Buffalo, United States)
Artists represented: LaTurbo Avedon, Mitchell F. Chan, Entangled Others (Sofia Crespo and Feileacan McCormick), Simon Denny, Amir H. Fallah, Sarah Friend, Auriea Harvey, Rhea Myers, Osinachi, Casey Reas, Anne Spalter, Itzel Yard (also known as Ix Shells), and Sarah Zucker.
Blockchain: Ethereum
A Collection of NFTs: The Buffalo AKG's Historic Acquisition of Digital Art | Buffalo AKG Art Museum

  • The Musée Granet, in collaboration with Delphine Ract Madoux, commissioned and acquired 8 digital artworks inspired by the collections (January 2023, Aix en Provence, France)
Artists represented: Cédric Caprio, Grégory Chatonsky, Anaïs Ghédini, Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis, Rémi Lecussan, Gauthier Le Rouzic, Albertine Meunier and Pierre Pauze
Provider: Ledger
Blockchain: Tezos
Granet: Sphère code cylindre

  • SFMoMa acquires its first NFT, donated by tech art pioneer Lynn Hershman Leeson (January 2023, San Francisco, United States)
Blockchain: Ethereum
SFMoMA acquires its first NFT, a work by tech art pioneer Lynn Hershman Leeson

  • The Centre Pompidou received a donation of 18 digital artworks, which were exhibited and acquired by the museum (February 2023, Paris, France)
Artists represented: CryptoPunks, Émilie Brout, Maxime Marion, aaajiao, Agniezka Kurang, Jill Magid, Claude Closky, Fred Forest, Jonas Lund, Rafaël Rozendaal, Sarah Meyohas, Robness, John F Simon Jr and John Gerrard.
Blockchain: Ethereum + Tezos
Paris's Centre Pompidou breaks new ground by acquiring 18 NFTs

  • NFT influencer Cozomo de’ Medici has donated 22 digital artworks by 13 artists to LACMA, including a CryptoPunk from Larva Labs and pieces from Dmitri Cherniak's Ringers collection and AI artist Claire Silver (February 13, 2023, Los Angeles, United States)
Artists represented: Justin Aversano, Cai Guo-Qiang, Dmitri Cherniak, Han (CryptoCubes), Matt Des Lauriers, CryptoPunks, Yam Karkai, Johannes Gees & Kelian Maissen (Kleee), Adam Swaab, Claire Silver, Neil Strauss, Monica Rizzolli, Pindar Van Arman, Mark Graeffe, Matt Hall, Yam Karkai, Kelian Maissen, John Watkinson
Blockchain: Ethereum
https://www.lacma.org/sites/default/files/press/2023-02/Blockchain

  • MoMA Acquires Refik Anadol’s Popular Generative Artwork ‘Unsupervised’ and also Ian Cheng, “3FACE” (donated by Outland.art) (October 2023, New York, United States)
Blockchain: Ethereum
MoMA Announces Groundbreaking New Digital Art Acquisitions, Exhibitions, and Artist Collaborations

  • The Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Artte Contemporanea acquired “FTX Board Meeting, Day #5676 11.13.2022 (2023)” by Beeple thanks to a donation by the artist.
Blockchain: Ethereum
Beeple's New—and Very Risqué—NFT Is the Artist's First Work to Enter a Museum's Permanent Collection | Artnet News

Decentralized Art Crowdfunding
Museums can raise funds for art acquisitions through decentralized crowdfunding platforms. Donors contribute cryptocurrency, and the blockchain records ownership shares, giving donors a stake in the acquired artwork.

Fractional Ownership of Artworks
Museums can tokenize ownership of artworks on the blockchain, allowing multiple investors to own fractions of a valuable piece. This approach democratizes art ownership and can fund acquisitions.

Examples:
  • The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp crowdfunded the purchase of James Ensor’s Carnaval de Binche for the equivalent of €150 per share (April 2022, Antwerp, Belgium)
Provider: Rubey
Blockchain: Polygon
Source: https://kmska.be/en/become-co-owner-masterpiece