Yuga Labs, the creator of blue-chip NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club, will donate CryptoPunk #305 to the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Miami in December. The move is part of a larger initiative called “Punks Legacy Project” which will put CryptoPunk NFTs in museums all around the world.
Punk #305 is a pixelated PFP of a woman with blonde hair wearing a virtual reality headset over her eyes. The inaugural donation is a wink towards Miami; “305” is one of Miami’s area codes. Yuga Labs has deep Miami roots, with founders Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano born and raised in the city. The museum will unveil Punk #305 during a ceremony on December 2nd during Art Basel, and it will be on display for the rest of the year.
Yuga Labs aims for the Punk #305 donation to be the first of many to contemporary art museums across the globe. Noah Davis, CryptoPunks’ brand lead, compared the CryptoPunks movement to Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol, who drove the contemporary art movement for years. Davis believes the CryptoPunks NFT collection can do the same, starting with Punk #305.
While many museums have thought of including NFTs in their collections, the best ways to display them and store them remain in question. As part of its Punks Legacy Project, Yuga Labs will partner with contemporary arts museums on the installation of the art. This includes Web3 education, crypto art history, crypto security, and NFT best practices.
Alex Gartenfield, ICA Miami Artistic Director, said that the museum’s collection “reflects” the art that define the present moment in society and cultural conversations. He believes the CryptoPunks collection is emblematic of the rise of crypto art and shows how current artists are utilizing technology.
Yuga Labs Has Been Busy in 2022
Even during the NFT bear market, the top NFT companies have been making moves. And never has that been truer than of the top dog in the NFT world: Yuga Labs. Here are three stories involving Yuga Labs and its CryptoPunks collection this year.
First, there is the release of IP rights to Meebits and CryptoPunk holders. Three months ago, Yuga Labs gave the holders of NFTs from those two collections what they had been asking for: intellectual property rights to their NFTs. This move will allow the holders to use the art in their NFTs for commercial purposes.
Second, there is Yuga Labs’ hiring of Noah Davis. In June of 2022, the CryptoPunks brand needed a leader, and Yuga Labs found one working in Christie’s auction house. At the time, Noah Davis came out with a statement saying he would protect the CryptoPunks image and not do anything silly like put the NFTs on lunchboxes.
Third and finally, there is Yuga Labs’ purchase of the Meebits and CryptoPunks collections. In March of 2022, the company purchased the two collections from Larva Labs, giving Yuga Labs the two top NFT collections in the Web3 world.
Yuga Labs’ move to donate CryptoPunks to leading contemporary arts museums is certainly interesting. It furthers the notion that NFTs are in fact art, and if the move is successful, other NFT collections may follow suit.