Andy Warhol’s 14 Small Electric Chairs has officially become the first piece of art to be sold on the Maecenas marketplace, and, as one of the first pieces of art on the blockchain, represents the first step in a movement we believe will democratise an entire industry and bring the art world into the 21st century.
We’ve outlined exactly how our platform works, as well as the benefits it brings to investors and art lovers, here in our briefing documents.
What happens when the Dutch auction process is complete, though? What is the exact process that happens when an artwork has been sold and participants have managed to acquire digital shares of a piece of art on the blockchain?
We’ve written in another blog about who owns a piece of artwork after it has gone through Maecenas’ Dutch auction process. Here’s what happens to the artwork itself.
Making fine art more accessible
At present, the Maecenas platform allows art owners to sell up to 49% of an artwork via our Dutch auction process. As such, they keep a 51% share and therefore stay in control of the asset before, during and after the auction.
Successful bidders will own a digital share of the artwork which is held within an SPV, so they won’t be responsible for managing or storing the piece itself. This lies with the owner of the 51% share (who can either store the artwork themselves in a suitable facility, or entrust this responsibility to a third party).
Successful bidders in Maecenas’ auctions will be allowed to freely trade their shares once owned. The artwork itself won’t change hands, though, unless the original owner decides to sell their 51% share outside of the platform.
That doesn’t mean the artwork has to be kept under lock and key. Majority shareholders of artworks sold on the Maecenas platform will still be able to exhibit these pieces in public, whether in their own facilities (if they are suitable) or through partnerships with galleries and museums.
What if I’ve invested in art on the blockchain?
So what if you’ve invested in art on the blockchain through Maecenas and want to see the artwork up close?
Our hope is that investors will always have some form of access to the artworks in which they hold shares. In instances where these artworks aren’t exhibited in public, one option will be to arrange a private viewing. Many of the world’s freeports - the ultra-secure offshore storage facilities used by art owners to keep their collections safe and in pristine condition - offer viewing suites for this purpose.
Otherwise, as described above, it will also be possible for majority shareholders to lease their artworks to museums and galleries. In this instance, investors who have bought shares in the artworks via the Maecenas marketplace will be paid a dividend based on any profit accumulated.
As we’ve outlined on our site, those are just some of the possibilities that Maecenas can offer collectors, investors, gallery owners, funds and others with an interest in art. The goal is to democratise the industry, with blockchain technology adding better accessibility, security and other opportunities for all involved.
Have more questions about our auction process and how the Maecenas marketplace works? Download our briefing documents to find out more.