On February 14th, 2023, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announced that it had received the first and largest donation of NFT art ever sent to an American museum. The donation of 22 digital artworks was made by the collector Cozomo de’ Medici, and included works by international artists from seven countries, as well as the CryptoPunk #3831 which sold for over $2 million in 2021. It is believed that the donor is the artist and cryptocurrency enthusiast Snoop Dogg, who hinted on Twitter that he was the face behind the pseudonym Cozomo de’ Medici.
LACMA’s goal is to assemble works that tell a representative history of the crypto art movement, ranging from generative art, photography, videos, and AI-generated portraits. The works date from 2017 to 2022, and include pieces from John Gerrard, TGA, “Comjoo/er toy,” Erick Calderon, Jessica Wembley, Peter Wu, Tom Sachs, and Lee Mullican.
Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, thanked Cozomo de’ Medici for the donation, and said that the museum has been supporting artists experimenting with blockchain technology since the 1960s. Cozomo de’ Medici hopes that this donation will lay the foundation for digital works to be exhibited alongside physical works by great artists such as Rembrandt or Picasso, promoting the crypto art movement globally.
The rise of blockchain technology has revolutionized the art scene, allowing art collectors and artists to verify the authenticity of works and transfer ownership seamlessly. LACMA’s acquisition of this collection of NFT digital art is a testament to the growing importance of crypto art, and it is expected that more museums and art institutions will embrace it in the future. This will create new opportunities for digital artists and collectors to showcase their works in mainstream art venues and establish themselves as legitimate artists.