Stock library Corbis has launched a virtual art museum, the Museum of Art for the Arts (MofAA), with virtual trustees, staff and a ficticious location in New York City.

The MofAA presents Corbis image collections in a novel virtual format, allowing visitors to the site to navigate a 'museum' rather than standard-issue online galleries. It also allows Corbis to highlight certain artists and photographers.

The virtual three-story building perched high above Broadway in the Flatiron District of New York City houses the main collections and temporary exhibition galleries with 250 landmark works of art plus thousands of other images borrowed from Corbis’ world famous contemporary and historical collections. Much of the MofAA is also translated into English, French, German and Italian for visitors from around the world.

Each floor represents a different level of access for visitors. The first floor is general admission that is open to the public and features one exhibit. The second floor is open to members, or people who are registered with Corbis, and features additional exhibits and activities. The third floor, dedicated to benefactors, features additional exhibits and benefits for select clients.

Visitors to the MofAA enter into a multimedia experience with photography, paintings, audio tours and music, which is provided courtesy of Trackdown Music. There are also community features like blogs for exhibitions and a live newsfeed of the latest real and fanciful happenings in the art world such as recent art thievery and ‘suddenly’ discovered priceless works. New features and functionality will be added in the coming months to continue to enhance the experience and enable dialogue amongst visitors, including the ability for users to curate and share their own exhibitions.

Current exhibitions include “Tes One”, a contemporary artist blurring the lines between graffiti art and graphic design; “Music Legends”, featuring photographs of the some of world’s most famous artists; “Car Songs”, an ode to our love affair with cars; and “Music & Lyrics”, an inspiring mix of images that invite patrons to write their own title or lyrics.

The MofAA is the brainchild of FWIS, a New York City graphic design firm. Firm partners Ben Pieratt, Eric Jacobsen, and Christopher Papasadero built the MofAA to create a dialogue between the established and the avant-garde, the past and the present, in an environment that is responsive to the issues of contemporary culture, while being accessible to a public that ranges from the scholarly to the casually curious.

“Corbis’ collection is astoundingly deep and broad, and the images contained within it have profound impact on our culture – creative or otherwise,” said Christopher Papasadero, Creative Director, FWIS. “The MofAA highlights this imagery as a modern museum should - through well-curated exhibitions and public participation, on display."