The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is organizing a sale of 24 French Impressionist pastels preserved in its collections but rarely on display. Profits will be used to fund the maintenance of two Degas panels.
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), home to a large collection of French Impressionist works, is going to sell NFTs (non-fungible tokens) to raise money for a major preservation project. In collaboration with startup LaCollection, the museum has transformed 24 rarely displayed (due to their fragility) Impressionist pastels into one-of-a-kind digital copies that will go on sale starting July 14. The money raised will be used to fund the study and preservation of two Edgar Degas paintings in the MFA Collection.
Rarely show work
An institution with global ambitions, the MFA in particular houses one of the largest collections of paintings by Claude Monet outside of France, as well as an impressive collection of works by French Impressionists, from Degas to Caillebotte, via Renoir and Pissarro. With this project to sell NFTs, we are responding to a double problem: encouraging new forms of public participation in the wake of the health crisis and devising an innovative way to display these French pastel collections from the 19th century, rarely displayed due to their extreme fragility.
“ We can offer them for a limited time every ten years or so, or even on rare occasions.Eric Woods, the museum’s director of operations, explains. By minting NFTs from these works by Monet, Degas, Millet and others, we are taking advantage of new methods so we can share our collection more broadly. “. Seeking to meet the same needs, the British Museum has partnered with LaCollection to organize, last February, a sale of NFTs for 20 watercolors by Turner, in accordance with the benefactor’s wish,” Can only be shown for 2 weeks in February or on special request, and can never be loaned “.
Monet and Degas in the NFTs
NFTs (the number of which has not yet been determined) were extracted from 24 Impressionist pastels by major artists such as Degas, Millet and Monet, dating from 1860 to 1910. Among the works selected are several landscapes that Monet presented at the first Impressionist exhibition in Paris 1874: vast areas (1862) and FifthEU on the sea at sunset (1862). Nine pastel millet colors will also be offered, including dandelion (1867-1868) and farm in moonlight (1868). We will also find the famous representations of ballerinas that Degas made throughout his career with Relaxing dancers (1881-1885) and pink dancers (circa 1900).
Certification and other benefits
The public sale will take place on the digital platform LaCollection starting July 14th. A pre-show is organized on July 13th for which it is already possible to register since June 26th. Each NFT will be offered at a starting price of €299 (instead of €399) to all buyers who have made this pre-registration. The money raised will be used to fund the study, processing and preservation of two Edgar Degas paintings that are in the State Department’s collections, namely Edmundo and Therese Morbelle (1865) and Father listening to Lorenzo Bagans playing guitar (1869-1872).
Purchasing one or more NFTs (which includes a digital certificate and a working high-resolution transcript) will also entitle you to other benefits and rewards, including access to previews or events organized by the MFA, or participation in a raffle to obtain an NFT for one of two Dega boards. Owners of NFTs will also be invited to discover Boston’s original pastel colors during an exceptional exhibition.
LaCollection and MFA will also organize a digital exhibition of the pastel collection in front of Monet’s house in Giverny, France, the artist’s chosen village, starting July 29. Throughout the exhibition period, screens installed in the exhibition will allow visitors to examine the works in detail such as couple of boats by Renoir (circa 1881) or so Two men overturning the earth (1866) by Jean Francois Millet.