Cozomo de’ Medici, a pseudonymous NFT collector and longtime supporter of on-chain art, has donated 22 prominent artworks to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
The works were created by 13 international artists between 2017 and 2022, and the donation marks the first time that a distinguished museum has accepted an endowment of digital art from a private collector, according to de’ Medici.
de’ Medici hopes their donation will raise awareness of digital art, as the collection will now be displayed alongside works by legendary artists like Rembrandt, Picasso and Monet.
The bequest includes CryptoPunk #3831 from Larva Labs, Woman n°001 by Yam Karkai and Ringers #962 from Dmitri Cherniak, and spans all the major genres, including generative art, 1/1, book, video, AI, 3D, sculpture and photography.
The gift is worth millions, as CryptoPunk #3831 alone was sold for $2.08M in July 2021 and received an eyewatering bid of $27.5M in December 2021.
de’ Medici and LACMA have deliberately refrained from using the term NFT.
“The term NFT has a stigma attached to it, so we’ve stepped away from it,” de’ Medici told ARTnews in an interview.
Leading figures in the NFT space have been attempting to bridge the digital and traditional art worlds through such endeavours.
Earlier this month, Yuga Labs donated CryptoPunk #110 to France’s Centre Pompidou as part of its Punks legacy project.
The program was inaugurated in November 2022, with CryptoPunk #305 being donated to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami.
NFT Market Bounces Back
The NFT market is showing signs of recovery after enduring a brutal downturn in 2022. Yuga Labs’ collections remain crowd favorites with the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and CryptoPunks commanding almost 50% of NFT market capitalization.
Since the beginning of the year, users have been increasingly borrowing ETH against their digital art holdings from leading lending platforms like NFTfi, BendDAO and X2Y2.