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Art masterpieces to be sold, MoMa to invest millions in digital footprint

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a red and black triptych painting of three distorted faces by Francis Bacon.
Three Studies for the Portrait of Henrietta Moraes, 1963, Francis Bacon. One of the pieces set to be auctioned off.

Sotheby’s will be auctioning off 29 pieces of artwork from the foundation for William S. Paley that have been on long-term loan to The Museum of Modern Art this fall. The works for sale include pieces from Francis Bacon, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Auguste Rodin. A portion of the funds will be used to finance MoMA’s new investments in digital art. 

This is the first time in at least half a century that works from the Paley collection will come to auction. According to the Wall Street Journal, the proceeds are expected to reach at least $70 million. Exactly how the money will expand the museum’s digital footprint is not yet public—but it may include the development of an online gallery platform, building new programs in the metaverse, or NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

This plan comes amidst a wave of digital art acquisitions from major cultural institutions. In June, Paris Hilton provided the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with a fund to…

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