Leopold Museum – Schiele discovery in new NFT collection

A rediscovered early work by Egon Schiele is one of the attractions of the first NFT collection at the Leopold Museum in Vienna, which will include a total of 24 works by Schiele. “The Schiele painting ‘Leopold Czihaczek at the Piano’, created in 1907 and previously considered lost, has been preserved in private ownership in extremely good condition,” said Hans-Peter Wipplinger, director of the Leopold Museum, in a broadcast Thursday.

Leopold Czihaczek, Ministerialrat and Senior Inspector of the Kaiser Ferdinands-Nordbahn of the Imperial and Royal Austrian State Railways, was uncle and, after the early death of Egon’s father Adolf Schiele, the guardian of the young artist. Egon Schiele painted the painting, which is known only from preliminary studies and from a black-and-white photograph of a room, shortly before his 17th birthday.

“The owners agreed to make the painting available to the Leopold Museum on permanent loan. After the cleaning and restoration, we want to make the painting available to the public in Vienna 1900 permanent presentation. The work will also be marked as an NFT and a It will be a bonus highlight for “The works that we have selected for the upcoming NFT launch of Schiele works from the Leopold Collection. The proceeds will not only fund the restoration, but ideally also enable the purchase of the Czihaczek portrait,” explains Wipplinger. . The picture is in the original frame.

Digital offer from 16 May

Like 23 other works by Egon Schiele, the rediscovered painting will be offered as an NFT between 16 and 26 May. For this purpose, the Leopold Museum has entered into a collaboration with the NFT platform LaCollection and Österreichische Post AG. “The pandemic has led to a rapid acceleration of digitization processes in the art world and has made NFTs an integral part of many established, traditional art collections,” says Wipplinger. “NFTs of Schiele’s works of art not only enable us to permanently preserve the museum’s treasures in the digital world, but also to get in touch with people we have not been able to reach with our museum in Vienna before. . “

An NFT, i.e. Non-Fungible Token, is a protected file based on blockchain technology. The unique token is linked to the work and secured by the blockchain. As a buyer of this art, you own the certificate of authenticity of a file and hence its original. Of the Austrian museums, for example, Belvedere jumped on the bandwagon and shattered Klimt’s painting “The Kiss” into a total of 10,000 individual NFT parts. Blockchain technologies are controversial due to their high energy consumption, among other things. The Leopold Museum assures that “with every NFT purchase, trees are planted with the help of the green technology company EcoTree, which offsets the CO2 that the NFT generation produces”.

The profit goes to the maintenance of the collection

The limited, unique digital twins of the Schiele works selected by the Leopold Museum are divided into three categories according to the number of copies: “Ultra Rare” (“Dead Mother I”, 1910, “Self-portrait with lantern fruits”, 1912, and “Portrait of Wally Neuzil “, 1912) only two NFT originals will be published and auctioned with a starting price of 100,000 euros. The ten “Super Rare” from a total of nine works will be called out and auctioned off for 15,000 euros. “Rares” can be purchased in a time-limited open edition of up to 100 pieces per. work for 499 euros each. An NFT of each work of art remains in the possession of the Leopold Museum. The profits will go exclusively to the restoration, conservation and purchase of works of art. The rediscovered painting can be purchased as a “Special Rare” for 999 euros – even before the original (cleaned and restored) is permanently displayed in the museum. (apa)

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