The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), and laCollection.io will launch a collection of non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) of rarely exhibited Impressionist pastels from the MFA’s renowned collection. The sale will go live on July 14th with pre-sale registration exclusively at laCollection.io and will feature NFTs — unique digital copies of physical artworks — by some of the greatest artists of the 19th century, with proceeds supporting the study, treatment and conservation of two paintings by Edgar Degas.
Eric Woods, Chief Operating Officer at the MFA, says:
“The MFA’s seldom-shown French pastels are masterworks, but are often not on display due to their fragility. By minting NFTs of these works by Monet, Degas, Millet and others, we are leveraging new modalities to be able to share our collection more broadly. Additionally, embracing this new technology will serve us well into the future. The funds generated will support the care of paintings from the Impressionist collection, enabling the Museum to continue sharing them with the public for generations to come.”
Jean-Sébastien Beaucamps, CEO and Co-Founder of LaCollection.io, says:
“We are thrilled to announce our first partner in the USA with the renowned MFA and to share their incredible collection of works with our global community. As a French-owned business, it is fitting to launch with an exquisite exhibition of some of the greatest French artists of the 19th century. Rarely seen by the public due to the delicate nature of pastels, it is with great excitement that we can bring this collection to light through our platform and, through the power of technology, share these with audiences in France this summer.”
The NFT Collection
The NFT collection will bring the pastels to life for a new generation of collectors and general art enthusiasts. The collection will feature artworks created between 1860 and 1910, with highlights including:
- Broad Landscape (about 1862) and View of the Sea at Sunset (about 1862) — landscapes by Monet that may have been among the first pastels he showed in the initial Impressionist exhibition in Paris in 1874
- Dandelions (1867–68), Farmyard by Moonlight (1868) and seven other pastels by Millet, whose work in the medium so struck Vincent van Gogh that he remarked feeling that he should take off his shoes because he was standing on “holy ground” as he observed these magnificent artworks
- Depictions of ballerinas made by Degas across several decades of his career, including Dancers Resting (1881–85) and Dancers in Rose (about 1900), which showcase varying aspects of his pastel technique
View of the Sea at Sunset, about 1862
Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)
Pastel on paper
* Bequest of William P. Blake in memory of his sister, Anne Dehon Blake * Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
NFT Drop Schedule
The NFT collection will be made available on laCollection.io across two distinct sales, with 24 artworks to be auctioned or sold at fixed prices starting from 299€. Sales will go live to applicants on July 13th, with general market sales starting on July 14th, 2022.
Participating NFT collectors will enjoy a gamified experience, with a range of incentives, benefits and rewards to be unlocked throughout the sale for the purchase of multiple NFTs. Those who purchase two NFTs will receive a third from the same collection as a reward; the purchase of three NFTs will unlock access to an NFT of one of the two conserved Degas paintings from the MFA’s holdings. A Secret Box containing one of three selected pastels will be available to purchase during the sale. Alongside these digital benefits, NFT collectors will be offered a range of MFA benefits for their patronage, including access to the MFA’s varied membership programming, exhibition previews, curator events and an invitation to attend a behind-the-scenes viewing of select pastels from the Museum’s collection. For more information go to: laCollection.io
NFT Exhibition in Giverny, France
This summer, laCollection.io and the MFA will host an exhibition of the NFT pastel collection in Monet’s hometown, Giverny in France, opening to the public on July 29th, 2022.
Given the importance of climate action and the wish to mitigate its environmental footprint, laCollection.io is working with sustainable forestry and B-Corp company EcoTree to offer certified carbon removal to fully offset its carbon footprint generated through the minting of its NFT programme.
French Impressionism at the MFA
During the late 19th century, avant-garde artists in France and beyond took up pastels to capture the immediate — a disappearing smile, rain clouds moving away, and vibrant flowers soon to perish. The pastel works of artists such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Odilon Redon, Jean-François Millet, Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas are key to understanding the Impressionist movement, which changed the course of art history from 1860 until the early 1900s.
Bostonians were among the world’s first collectors of French Impressionism; the MFA received its first three Monet works as a gift in 1906 and today holds one of the largest collections of the artist’s paintings outside Paris. Boston’s love of Impressionism was not limited to Monet, with gifts and judicious purchases — of works by artists ranging from Degas to Caillebotte — contributing to what is recognised as one of the world’s finest Impressionist art collections.
Conservation at the MFA
Conservation is an integral part of the MFA’s mission to preserve collections for future generations, and this year marks the opening of a new state-of-the-art Conservation Center at the Museum. Funds from the collection sale will go towards the study and conservation of two paintings by Degas in the MFA’s collection: the double portrait Edmondo & Therese Morbilli and Degas’s Father Listening to Lorenzo Pagans Playing the Guitar (1869-72).
Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)
Pastel on tan wove paper
* Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton
* Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston