Corbis Virtually Opens Fictitious Museum

Posted on 6/18/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Corbis has been publicizing the fact that it is underwriting a new New York-based Museum of Art for the Arts for some time. Today's official announcement from the company reveals that there is no such thing.

Well, not exactly: There is, only it is virtual, and it is a hoax-or, perhaps, an attempt to virally promote the Corbis image collection. "Through the leadership of its mostly imaginary Trustees and staff, the MofAA manifests its commitment to the arts by acquiring, preserving and displaying collections of superior quality," says the announcement, which goes on to quote some of the fictitious executives.

MofAA's plush Flatiron address and Corbis' references to "aggressive construction" have been confusing industry insiders for some time. Photo District News' Daryl Lang was curious enough to take a walk, to discover that 912 Broadway did not exist.

What does exist is a Web site, which has information on 10 exhibits, nine of which are not publicly accessible-unless you are a Corbis customer, which isn't obvious. Clicking on any of the exhibits produces an invitation to sign up for a membership with a suitably aristocratic price tag, which gives the first hint of something not quite right.

Further investigation reveals a near-unreadable light-grey disclaimer at the bottom of the page: "MofAA is a creation of Corbis Corporation. It is not a nonprofit corporation. The individual names and locations displayed are not intended to depict real services, businesses or trademarks. Any resemblance to any actual services, businesses or trademarks is entirely coincidental."

The joke is somewhat subtle. The site's looks and functionality are enough to confuse even longtime industry insiders. For instance, Pino Granata actually tried to register.

Insider humor aside, some of the content will surely raise eyebrows. According to Corbis, MofAA's news column features happenings both real and fanciful. One reads: "PARIS, FRANCE: While laying foundation for the Musee de Fromage, construction workers unearthed a time capsule containing many missing images from the infamous Sygma archive. Thousands of never-before-seen photos of important political and news events from the past 50 years were buried here in a bureaucratic mix-up decades ago and the location was never established." If Corbis could only unearth some of the negatives that belonged to Arthur Grace, the Sygma shooter to whom Corbis was ordered to pay $667,685 in January for loss of his images.

Another remaining question is whether the industry will laugh with Corbis or at it. Lang, for one, closed his recent story on MofAA with: "How's that whole profit thing working out?"

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff