William S. Paley Foundation Auctions off Picasso and Renoir Paintings

This week, the William S. Paley Foundation has announced it is selling up to $70 million worth of traditional art. This the foundation pledged to donate to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) to support their “ambitious goals in digital media and technology”. Some of the paintings going under the hammer are by none other than Pablo Picasso and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Pablo Picasson artwork Guitare sur une table MoMA NFT
Pablo Picasso’s Guitare sur une table (1919) and other artworks will raise the funds

What will the lot sell for?

Furthermore, early estimates suggest that the collection of 29 contemporary art pieces will fetch around $70 million. The collection will go to auction at Sotheby’s this autumn.

Notable pieces up for sale include:

  • Francis Bacon, Three Studies for Portrait of Henrietta Moraes (1963)
  • Pablo Picasso, Guitare sur une table (1919)
  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Les Fraises (circa 1905)
  • Joan Miró, Peinture (1949)

Will MoMa buy NFTs?

As usual, NFT Twitter is already making light of the MoMA decision. In fact, they are also making jokes about how they will decide which NFTs to buy. One user, @ben_zank, said, “MoMA plans to spend its 70m budget via ‘Drop your art, I’m collecting’ tweets.”

However, they may not be completely off the money. Glenn Lowry, MoMA director, stated, “We’re growing our digital audience, not losing any, so we realize we need to increase our capacity off-site and online.”

While it’s not exactly admittance, it’s clear MoMa are also looking towards web3 in their website’s subject matter.


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