In brief

  • One of the largest art museums in the world is getting involved with NFTs.
  • The Russian State Hermitage Museum described NFTs as an urgent agenda in the art world.

Russia’s State Hermitage Museum, the second-largest art museum in the world, has announced that it will host an exhibition of NFT art this year.

Describing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as the “most urgent agenda in the field of contemporary art today,” the museum’s announcement revealed that the exhibition will form part of its ongoing emphasis on new forms of art, which began in 2018 with exhibitions detailing innovation as an artistic technique. In 2019, the museum explored the area of artificial intelligence and cross-cultural dialogue.

The project’s strategic partner, per the announcement, will be the Askenov Family Foundation, a foundation that focuses on cultural and social innovation. “We are engaged in permanent research of the scope and boundaries of the culture sector and in the elaboration of systems to evaluate the special social contribution of contemporary art and culture,” the foundation’s website reads. 


NFTs shake up the art world

NFTs are cryptographically-unique tokens that can be minted in limited numbers; as a result, they’ve enabled digital artists to lend real-world scarcity to digital assets. The crypto art scene has exploded in the past year, as digital artists have embraced the possibilities afforded by NFTs. With big money entering the space, established art institutions have followed suit. 

In the last month alone, crypto artist Beeple’s NFT collection EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS sold for $69 million in an auction at Christie’s, becoming the third-biggest sale by a living artist. Rival auction house Sotheby’s has followed suit, announcing an auction by digital artist PAK. And the legacy art world is exploring the possibilities of NFT art, too; the family of Russian Futurist painter Wladimir Baranoff-Rossiné is auctioning off one of his works with an accompanying NFT on crypto auction site Mintable.

Indeed, the State Hermitage Museum’s exhibition isn’t the first physical exhibition of NFT art; this April, a crypto art group in Beijing will host a show titled “Virtual Niche: Have You Ever Seen Memes in the Mirror?” 

And if you’re looking to exhibit your own collection of NFTs, manufacturers like Qonos are creating digital frames that’ll enable you to display your treasured Beeple GIF in your own home.

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