As part of the celebration of its 75th anniversary this year, Magnum Photos is launching its first collection of NFTs. The agency will start with three selections and will slowly release the full 75 image lot through the year.
The agency says that it believes turning photographs into NFTs “generates authenticity and value on the internet, allowing photographers to produce and sell their work online as they would in the real world.” It argues buyers are given a unique way to actually own an original piece of art or photograph online as opposed to buying or downloading a copy.
“Just as they would offline, these pieces of art grow (or decline) in value over time, and present the opportunity to build collections, all online,” Magnum says.
This launch is the first time that collectors (which it refers to as the Web3 community) will be able to own photos from the Magnuma archive, which it says includes some of the most acclaimed photographers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Magnum says that each selection is curated in tandem with leading figures in photography from around the world. Each is minted as 1/1 editions.
The Magnum 75 curation follows on from an existing partnership between Obscura and Magnum, in which eight photographers were commissioned to produce exclusive NFT photographs.
The first selection was curated by by Alejandro Cartagena, photographer and co-founder of Obscura.io which is described as a community of artists, collectors, curators, and builders with a mission to empower photographers in the Web3 ecosystem.
The first three photos of the collection became available on June 28 and bidding will end by June 30. The three photos are a photo of Danish actor Anna Karina from 1966 by Bruno Barbey, a photo by Nikos Economopoulos taken in Trinidad, Cuba in 2015, and a photo by Ernest Cole taken in South Africa in 1960 titled “Piet falls asleep with a Bible on his face.”
“The world of NFTs is new, exciting and in some ways daunting for an organization that has been going for 75 years. As with every development in the photographic landscape, we are keen to learn, experiment and understand what the prospects are for blockchain technology and how it can be integrated into the way that we share work,” Olivia Arthur, photographer and President of Magnum says.
“I believe that these tools will become extremely important to the photographic industry more broadly and I am very excited to be part of this first official step into the world of NFTs by Magnum.”
The full Magnum 75 NFT collection can be perused on Foundation, but as mentioned, active bidding for items from the collection will become available slowly over the course of the rest of the year.
Image credits: All photos individually credited and provided via Magnum.