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FAQs at The Withers
Art Project

The Withers Art Project is a limited series NFT collection for the benefit of the preservation and digitization of the work of Dr. Ernest C. Withers. Want to learn more about this project? Uncover the answers to your questions below.

The Withers Art Project is a generative NFT digital art project inspired by the works of Dr. Ernest C. Withers. The Withers Art Project digital collectibles are artistic interpretations of real-life historical photos from the American Civil Rights movement in Memphis, TN.

Dr. Ernest Withers, Sr. (1922 – 2007) a native Memphian, is an internationally acclaimed photographer recognized for his iconic photographs in Memphis and the broader south during the Civil Rights era. His well-known images of musicians during Memphis’ early days of legendary blues, soul, and rock and roll scene; his chronicling of Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and participants in Memphis’ 1968 “I AM A MAN” sanitation strike; and his preservation of the end of the Negro Leagues comprise an unequaled time capsule of the heartland of Mid-Century America.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. currently displays over 30 of Ernest C. Withers’ images. For his life’s work, Withers was elected to the Black Press Hall of Fame and received an honorary doctorate from the Massachusetts College of Art, Rhodes College, and other institutions of higher education. Withers had nine children and married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Curry. Ernest C. Withers passed away on Monday, October 15, 2007, at the age of eighty-five, leaving behind a volume of work estimated to be greater than 1.8 million images.

Dr. Withers’ last working studio on 333 Beale Street was named in his honor by the City of Memphis in 1995. In February 2011, The Withers Collection Museum and Gallery was opened to the public and houses 7,000 square feet of Memphis and broader American history.

The 1687 Club is a philanthropic NFT social good membership club. 1687 patrons include philanthropists, influencers, artists, techies, and more to collaborate on projects that do good in the world, with a focus on projects that support equality, diversity, and inclusion.

An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain, which means all NFTs are unique. NFTs can be connected to reproducible items and intellectual property such as artwork, photographs, video, audio, and other types of digital files to verify that they are unique and original. Blockchain technology is used to permanently store a receipt and deed for NFTs and create verifiable public proof of ownership. NFTs are used to buy, sell, and trade collectible assets and can take the form of GIFs, JPGs, PNGs, tweets, video game skins, virtual real estate, and more. NFTs are often used and displayed in the “metaverse”.

The purpose of The Withers Art Project is for the benefit of the Withers Collection’s ongoing work at preserving and digitizing Dr. Withers’ legacy of over 1.8 million historically significant images taken over 60 years. The process of preserving and digitizing this body of work requires a significant amount of time and money. The Withers Collection is partnering with 1687 to create a limited number of generative digital art pieces inspired by actual photos taken by Dr. Withers. The sale of these collectible NFTs benefits The Withers Collection as they preserve these images and tell the stories of the men and women who lived during America’s Civil Rights movement.

black and white photo with a postit with text
black and white photo with a postit with text

Preserve our shared history

Support the preservation of the Withers collection

The Withers Art Project is an NFT art collection inspired by the work of Dr. Ernest C. Withers. Proceeds from this collection benefit the preservation and digitization of the photo archive. Join the waitlist to mint an NFT from The Withers Art Project.