A CryptoPunk could soon be coming to an art gallery near you

Quick Take

  • Yuga Labs will donate CryptoPunk #305 to ICA Miami.
  • It’s rolling out a new initiative to donate CryptoPunks to museums and galleries around the world.

The Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami’s resident CryptoPunk, “Priscila,” is getting a friend.

Yuga Labs will donate CryptoPunk #305 to the institute as part of a new initiative to put iconic NFTs from the collection in museums and galleries all over the world.

The endeavor will see Yuga Labs — which owns top collections, including CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Meebits, Otherdeeds and, as of this week, Beeple’s 10KTF — provide museums with resources for safe storage of NFTs, display the best practices and web3 education.

That CryptoPunks has been chosen for this over its other collections is hardly surprising. Since June this year, it has been headed by brand lead Noah Davis — the former head of digital art at Christie's auction house — who says that "aesthetically speaking, Punks are about as chic as Donald Judd furniture or Piet Mondrian paintings" and believes that CryptoPunks deserve to be on the walls of contemporary art and design institutions worldwide.

"What makes the CryptoPunks an especially important work of contemporary art, is the way in which the collector community coalesces in virtual and sometimes real spaces for semi-constant conversation, collaboration, debate, and comradery," he said in a statement, adding: "For contrast, I assure you, there is no gated Discord server or Telegram group for Willem DeKooning collectors."

NFT art galleries are a staple of the metaverse, but this isn’t the first time NFTs have gone on display in museums and other real-life institutions — where they are often displayed on large screens that mimic canvases hanging on a wall. Earlier this year, the world’s first NFT museum in Seattle launched as an outlet for artists, creators and collectors to display their pieces and educate the public about digital art. MoMA will also host an NFT exhibit by visual artist Refik Anadol later this month. 

ICA Miami obtained its first CryptoPunk, #5293, from museum trustee Eduardo Burillo in July 2021. It was named “Priscila” after Burillo’s wife. The institute also launched its own NFT platform with Palm and LiveArtX in April.


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