We recently caught up with Chris Cummings from Iconic Moments and spoke all about the Iconic Moments NFT marketplace and NFT drops. He explains how they built it to have the feel of a museum gallery, the benefits of their NFT drops, and why NFTs are the best way to save cultural institutions.
Chris Cummings is the founder & CEO of Iconic Moments, the NFT marketplace for the museum industry. Prior to founding Iconic Moments, Chris founded Pass It Down, an award-winning digital exhibit design platform transforming how museums and cultural institutions engage their visitors. Chris discusses what the Iconic Moments NFT marketplace is, the benefits and value of Iconic Moments NFT drops, and the pros and cons of releasing NFTs of art and history that already exist. He also dives into what blockchain they are using, how there was skepticism at first within the cultural institutions and organizations that they work with, and a ton more.
Cummings: Other NFT marketplaces have their value, but the pieces that we’re selling come with a story and history. We wanted to make sure that information was shared alongside the NFT itself. We built Iconic Moments to have the look and feel of a museum gallery, featuring art or historical moments in a less crowded way.
Cummings: I’m not sure there are any investments that do not come with a risk. Iconic Moments NFTs are like digital lithographs that support the cultural institution that houses the asset directly. By purchasing an NFT from Iconic Moments you become a patron of that institution and join a community with similar interests.
Cummings: Besides supporting a cultural institution and owning a digital asset, each Iconic Moments’ NFT includes different utilities, including access to special events, private discord channels, discounts for museum tickets, merchandise, and more.
Cummings: Everyone has a different opinion on this, but Iconic Moments it’s important to us that these museums, archives, and other institutions are able to stay open and share their collection with people. Ultimately museums are places of learning, holding our collective history.
COVID threatened many institutions with closure. We want cultural institutions to remain open and their assets available to the public to enjoy and learn from.
Cummings: We are launching on Ethereum because that is where most of the NFT communities are right now. When we talk about Iconic Moments’ NFTs, what we’re really talking about is building a community.
Cummings: Initially there was some skepticism, but then other projects shared how NFTs can benefit institutions while also honoring the art/artist. A few examples of these projects are TIME’s TIMEPieces drop in September 2021 and Belvedere's NFT drop of Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss in February 2022.
The Iconic Moments team is full of museum and cultural institution expertise. It’s helped that we can view things from their perspective and act as partners along the way. While there was skepticism at first, museums and archives are eager to get started on their NFT drops. Every week we receive exciting emails full of the coolest historical photos and stories institutions can’t wait to share.
Cummings: I don’t want to undermine any other NFT project: we’ve seen a lot of talented artists release work and we continue to be impressed by the NFT community. Usually, in this case, only a digital asset exists.
However, a lot of the NFTs we see created are speculative and very temporal. At Iconic Moments we deal in timeless historical moments and art. By purchasing one of the Iconic Moments’ digital assets, you are directly supporting the museum that houses the physical work.
Cummings: Currently we’re working on existing artwork and historical moment drops. Because so much of an institution’s archives are in the vault, many of our NFTs have never been seen before.
Cummings: The market is changing quickly and we’re constantly seeing innovations, so I don’t want to name any future projects yet. I will say one of the things that we’re most excited about is the decentralized community NFT purchases build.
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