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Museen nutzen NFTs für Fundraising & Verbindungen



The Musée d'Orsay, a renowned 19th-century Parisian art haven housing the world's largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, has embarked on an exciting journey into the world of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). Under the leadership of President Christophe Leribault, the museum has taken bold steps to leverage blockchain technology to engage new audiences, raise funds, and provide unique experiences to art enthusiasts. This innovative approach reflects a commitment to staying relevant in the 21st century while preserving the museum's rich heritage.



The Intersection of Art and Technology


In October 2021, Christophe Leribault assumed the role of President at Musée d'Orsay, with a visionary agenda of opening the museum's doors to a wider, more diverse audience. Leribault recognized that embracing technology, particularly blockchain and NFTs, could be a powerful means to achieve this goal. Thus, an internal team was tasked with exploring the potential of NFTs and blockchain technology. This exploration ultimately led to groundbreaking collaborations and initiatives aimed at bridging the gap between traditional art and the digital age.



NFTs and Their Role in Musée d'Orsay


NFTs have garnered considerable attention in the art world, and Musée d'Orsay is no exception to their allure. These digital assets enable the museum to offer on-chain digital souvenirs, providing a new dimension to visitors' experiences. An example of this is the exhibition, "Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise: The Final Months," which launched in October 2023 and showcases works created by Vincent van Gogh in the last two months of his life. To coincide with this exhibition, the museum released two NFTs, adding a digital layer to the visitor's journey.



The first NFT offers a captivating glimpse into Vincent van Gogh's world by granting art enthusiasts access to his final color palette, notably used in his portrait of his daughter, Marguerite Gachet at the piano. Once acquired for just 8.9 Euros, this NFT provides an immersive augmented reality experience via mobile devices (iOS & Android), allowing owners to project the palette into their surroundings and share it on social networks. With a limited availability of 10,000 units, the potential to raise 89,000 Euros for the museum is significant.


The second NFT presents an original digital artwork inspired by Vincent van Gogh, created by the French blockchain culture project, KERU. This limited edition piece echoes the artistic style of van Gogh's renowned Starry Night (1888, Paris, Musée d'Orsay). Priced at just €20 per NFT, and with 2,300 units available, it offers a unique collector's item. The total potential contribution to the museum is an impressive 46,000 Euros.



Educational Initiatives and Rewards


These NFTs, minted on the Tezos blockchain, come with gamified elements that offer holders the chance to win prizes, including lifetime passes to the museum and invitations to opening galas. Owners of Musée d'Orsay's NFTs can store them in crypto wallets, enabling them to access discounts on return visits to the museum, purchase merchandise, and enjoy meals at the museum's picturesque cafes overlooking the Seine and the Louvre. This creates a lasting connection between the museum and its supporters, strengthening the sense of community and loyalty.


More specifically, the first NFT (€8.9) is offering collectors:

  1. 15% discount for the Musée d'Orsay store

  2. Early access to Musée d'Orsay's upcoming Web3 projects


While the second NFT (€20) is offering collectors:

  1. 15% discount for the Musée d'Orsay store

  2. Next visit to the Musée d'Orsay at a reduced fare

  3. Early access to Musée d'Orsay's upcoming Web3 projects

  4. Invitations to forthcoming Musée d’Orsay openings (20 randomly selected lots)

  5. Access to forthcoming Musée d’Orsay exhibitions (40 randomly selected lots)

  6. A meal (with a glass of champagne) at the Musée d’Orsay restaurant (for 2 people) (few randomly selected lots)

  7. Lifetime access to the Musée d’Orsay for two people (5 randomly selected lots)


In partnership with the Tezos Foundation, Musée d'Orsay also plans to host conferences and educational events throughout the year to introduce technologies like blockchain to a broader museum audience. These initiatives will empower visitors with a deeper understanding of the digital art world and its possibilities.


Furthermore, the museum intends to invite digital artists working on the blockchain to create NFT collections inspired by pieces in its permanent collection, starting in early 2024. This initiative not only supports emerging artists but also keeps the museum's collection alive in the digital realm.



Connecting with New Audiences


Musée d'Orsay's foray into the world of NFTs goes beyond providing digital souvenirs; it is also about connecting with new generations of art enthusiasts. The museum recognizes that to remain relevant, it must evolve and adapt to the changing landscape of art consumption. By embracing blockchain technology and NFTs, they are not only appealing to the tech-savvy but also exploring new avenues for engaging visitors.


“Today, it's not a question of the volume of people that we might bring to the museum,” the Orsay’s Roux said. “It's more a question of being a museum aware of its time, of being a museum that is talking to new generations.” “We are a 19th-century museum,” Roux continued. “If we do not launch initiatives to talk differently, to represent ourselves differently, we will end up an old museum of a very old century—very, very fast.”



Museums Around the World Embrace Web3


The Musee d'Orsay's pioneering journey into the world of NFTs and blockchain technology reflects a broader trend in the art and culture sector. Many museums and cultural institutions worldwide are recognizing the potential of Web3 technologies, driven by various motivations beyond the initial response to the challenges posed by the pandemic.


While the initial pivot into Web3 by leading museums was partly inspired by the need for innovative solutions during the pandemic, it has evolved into a movement with diverse motivations. Museums are increasingly drawn to NFT technology because of its appeal to younger audiences, its capacity to reach an unlimited global audience, and its ability to provide fair compensation to artists. It's a testament to the adaptability and resilience of these cultural institutions.



Museums Joining the Movement


The art world has seen the emergence of blockchain technology as a versatile tool for museums and artists alike. In 2022, London's Serpentine Gallery allied with blockchain technology for a unique exhibition that transformed memories into NFTs, highlighting the potential of blockchain technology to redefine the relationship between art and memory. Additionally, Refik Anadol's showcase at MoMA integrated an attendance token, showcasing the versatility of blockchain in the art world.


Museums like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have launched innovative programs, such as "Remembrance of Things Future," which invites digital artists to reinterpret iconic works from their permanent collections using experimental technologies. These projects result in the creation of unique generative artworks that are minted as NFTs on blockchain platforms like Ethereum. This fusion of traditional art and cutting-edge technology has the potential to redefine the boundaries of artistic expression.


Among the prestigious institutions exploring these possibilities are the Royal College of Art in London and the House of Electronic Arts in Basel. Other notable museums experimenting with NFTs include:

  • February 2022: The Belvedere museum in Vienna released a collectible NFT of Gustav Klimt’s masterwork “The Kiss”

  • February 2022. Four Italian Art Museums Sell NFT Reproductions of Masterpieces

  • May 2022. Dubai’s Museum of the Future to Launch NFT Collection

  • August 2022. Historic Manhattan Art Museum Prepares to Offer NFTs

  • January 2023. NFT Artists Featured at Orlando Museum of Art

  • July 2023: The British Museum entered an Ethereum-based metaverse, the Sandbox, where it offers NFTs within a virtual game.


Musée d'Orsay’s and others’ embrace of NFTs and blockchain technology is a testament to their commitment to evolve, adapt, and connect with new audiences in an ever-changing world. By incorporating digital souvenirs, educational initiatives, and rewards, the museum is not only raising funds but also forging meaningful connections with visitors. If you’re looking to raise funds and connect with new audiences via NFTs, we’d love to work with you.

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