The Musée d’Orsay is home to masterpieces from Van Gogh, Monet, Cézanne and more. The partnership aims to bring a new audience to the museum.
Tezos, the self-upgrading blockchain ecosystem founded by Kathleen and Arthur Breitman, is often referred to as the artist’s blockchain. While smaller in volume than its competitors, Tezos-based marketplaces like Objkt are increasingly popular with a range of artists, from painters to poets to photographers – many of whom enjoy the network’s low gas fees.
Now, Tezos has affirmed its status as the artist’s blockchain by partnering with the prestigious Parisian museum, the Musée d’Orsay.
The Orsay is home to the world’s largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings and houses the work of Van Gogh, Monet and Cézanne, among others.
The museum’s first Tezos offerings will be a selection of on-chain souvenirs that will be offered to visitors in the upcoming Van Gogh exhibition, Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise: The Final Months, which kicks off on October 3.
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According to Decrypt, there are two types of souvenir: one is augmented reality work depicting Van Gogh’s final palette, and the other is an original digital artwork inspired by Van Gogh, crafted by French blockchain project KERU.
These souvenirs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, and will grant holders the ability to win prizes such as lifetime access to the museum and invitations to opening galas.
The collections will feature 2,300 NFTs, selling at €20 each.
The Orsay has a lineage of supporting artists unaccepted by traditionalists.
Footfall at the Orsay is currently lower than pre-pandemic levels. The museum has embraced NFTs as a means of inviting a wider demographic through its doors.
Valerie Whitacre, Head of Art at TriliTech, a London-based adoption hub for Tezos, told Decrypt that the move is in line with the museum’s Impressionist roots.
“The Musée d’Orsay has a long lineage of collecting artists that might not have otherwise been accepted by traditionalists,” she said. “And there is a beautiful sentiment from the team there that experimenting with crypto art, experimenting with how one can engage audiences that are consuming art in a new way, relates to the overall history of the museum.”
Echoing the sentiment, Guillaume Roux, the Orsay’s director of development, said, “Today, it’s not a question of the volume of people that we might bring to the museum. It’s more a question of being a museum aware of its time, of being a museum that is talking to new generations.”
He added, “We are a 19th-century museum. 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.”
Over the coming year, the Tezos Foundation will work alongside the museum to introduce visitors to emerging technologies like blockchain, and will invite Tezos artists to create works inspired by the museum’s permanent collection in early 2024.
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