DIGITAL ART: Withers museum reveals first Black NFT project using historical art

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Withers Collection Museum and Gallery unveils a new digitized art collection.

“Having the responsibility of this much history, we want to make sure that our history is in the minds of our youth,” said Rosiland Withers, trustee of the Withers estate and founder of the museum.

Withers said they had enlisted the help of a company called the 1687 Club to make what are called NFTs. (Non-Fungible Tokens) She said an NFT is a digital asset representing real-world objects like art, music, in-game items, and video.

Withers’ father was Dr. Ernest C. Withers, a civil rights photographer who served as the official photojournalist for Dr. Martin Luther King for eight years.

“His body of work consists of about 1.8 million images plus, and he has five categories civil rights, music, baseball, politics, and lifestyle. Lifestyle is the largest body of his work,” said Withers.

Withers said the collection would start with roughly 11,000 images available for purchase.

“1687 Club’s goal is to raise money for projects like this,” said Natasha Bell, Co-Founder of the 1687 Club.

Bell said this is the first Black NFT project using historical art.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind piece of digital art. It’s a digital collectible, and they (purchasers) own the intellectual property of that image that they purchase,” said Bell.

Bell likened the concept to owning cryptocurrency.

“I saw an opportunity to help move the Withers collection into the digital age, and so we saw this opportunity to introduce it to the youth because that’s who’s in the digital art space, young creatives,” said Bell.

Actress Angela Bassett recently tweeted she bought a customer NFT from the Withers collection.

CLICK HERE to view the art and purchase an NFT.