$70 million art collection at MoMA to be auctioned, funds to be used for NFT Buys


  • Works by Renoir, Picasso, Rousseau and Bacon will be auctioned off to grow the digital presence of the museum.
  • MoMA may buy its very first NFTs for crypto enthusiasts.
  • MoMA doesn’t own a tokenized artwork on the blockchain though it has supported in creating NFTs.

At least $70 million in art masterpieces will be auctioned off by William S. Paley Foundation to take ahead the digital route of the MoMA or Museum of Modern Art in New York to hold the first NFTs of the museum.

Paley’s namesake foundation has endowment funds for education & cultural programs as well as museums. It has enlisted Sotheby to auction 29 out of 81 MoMA collection pieces.

Funds raised from the sale will be used for the expansion of the museum’s digital presence. MoMA director Glenn Lowry shared that a number of possibilities have been planned by the museum regarding the money. 

The museum may come up with its own streaming channel or organize virtual exhibitions and video chats with creators. It may also offer online courses through partnership with course providers or universities.

Lowry also shared that the museum has a talented team that has eyes set on digital-art landscape to find valuable artist collaborators or even purchases.

The terms & conditions between William S. Paley Foundation and MoMA has MoMA reserving the right to have the final word as to how to utilize the collection. During the autumn auction, a small percentage of the sales will be donated to philanthropic causes late Paley used to pursue.

Some of the recognised pieces like Matisse’s “Woman with a Veil” and Picasso’s 1905-06 “Boy Leading a Horse” won’t be sold. A Renoir and a Rousseau will be auctioned off though. 

This November, Pablo Picasso’s “Guitar on a Table” will be auctioned for minimum $20 million in New York; whereas, in October, Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies for a Portrait of Henrietta Moraes,” will be auctioned for minimum $35 million in London. 

It is expected that the collection will raise funds between $70 and $100 million.