MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Withers Collection Museum and Gallery unveils a new digital art collection.
“Having the responsibility for so much history, we want to make sure that our history is in the minds of our young people,” said Rosiland Withers, administrator of the Withers estate and founder of the museum.
Withers said he used a company called the 1687 Club to create what are called NFTs. (Non-Fungible Tokens) She stated that an NFT is a digital asset representing real-world objects such as art, music, game items, and video.
Withers’ father was Dr. Ernest C. Withers, a civil rights photographer who served as Dr. Martin Luther King’s official photojournalist for eight years.
“His work consists of approximately 1.8 million images and counting, and he has five categories of Civil Rights, Music, Baseball, Politics and Lifestyle. Lifestyle is the largest corpus of his work,” Withers said.
Withers said the collection will begin with around 11,000 images available for purchase.
“Club 1687’s goal is to raise funds for projects like this,” said Natasha Bell, co-founder of Club 1687.
Bell said it was the first Black NFT project using the historical art.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind piece of digital art. It’s a digital collectible, and they (buyers) own the intellectual property of that image they’re buying,” Bell said.
Bell likened the concept to owning cryptocurrency.
“I saw an opportunity to help bring the Withers collection into the digital age, and so we saw this opportunity to introduce it to young people because that’s what’s in the art space. digital, young creatives,” Bell said.
Actress Angela Bassett recently tweeted that she purchased an NFT client from the Withers collection.
CLICK HERE to view the art and purchase an NFT.
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