Hokusai’s beloved “Great Wave” painting is now an NFT, thanks to the British Museum
The English museum will sell TVN works of Hokusai, including The great wave off Kanagawa (1831), with the help of a new French start-up, LaConnection. The sale is being made in conjunction with the British Museum’s exhibition of the Japanese artist’s work later this week.
The idea of helping cultural institutions to sell TVN came to Jean-Sébastien Beaucamps in the midst of museum closures linked to the pandemic. A frequent museum, Beaucamps’ experience is to support traditional businesses in their transition to the digital age. With the rise of NFTs in 2020, he believed he had found a way to help museums absorb this new technology. With LaConnection, “I realized that I could combine my professional passion around digital transformation and my personal passion for culture, museums and galleries,” said Beaucamps.
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LaConnection and the British Museum began their partnership earlier this year. Many museums lost a lot of money during the pandemic and Beaucamps speculated that institutions would be interested in hitting NFTs to help mitigate this blow. But he discovered that museums were passionate about the works of the medium for an entirely different reason. “The British Museum wanted to get into NFTs as a way to reach a new, younger audience,” Beaucamps said.
Indeed, the NFT made discover the world of art to a younger and more global public, with Christie’s report that 73 percent of people listed on their NFT auctions have never done an auction before at the auction house. Beaucamps sees NFTs as a way of potentially teaching art history. Among these young audiences, he declared: “They all recognized The great wave, but they didn’t know that the artist’s name was Hokusai. Now they know.
NFT Hokusai will be sold at different rarity levels. Only two NFTs of The great wave will be offered, and these will be considered “ultra-rare,” explained Beaucamps. Other works will be offered in editions of 1,000 and 10,000. Beaucamps described the NFTs as somewhat similar to the typical museum postcard – “except,” he said, “these are digital editions. , unique and much easier to resell “. As with most NFT smart contracts, the original creator of the NFT, in this case the British Museum, will receive royalties on each subsequent sale of the NFT.
The British Museum is not the first museum to offer NFTs. The Whitworth Gallery in Manchester, the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg and the Uffizi Galleries are among those who have recently minted works in the art-based medium into their collections.
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