Rooted in the region, however, nationally and internationally active, the Museo Vincenzo Vela is an ideal base for SIK-ISEA. With the establishment of the Ufficio di contatto, the Institute and the Federal Office of Culture are further consolidating their long-standing relationship proven through various joint projects.
The «Ufficio di contatto per la Svizzera italiana» of the Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIK-ISEA) celebrated its first five years in 2015. With the support of the Federal Department of Culture, the office opened in 2010 in the Museo Vincenzo Vela, serving as a documentation centre for art in southern Switzerland and as a contact point for researchers. It is perfectly placed to represent SIK-ISEA in the Italian-speaking region, fostering contacts with the art community, and promoting exchange and collaboration with museums, collections, galleries and academics. Under the guidance of the Swiss Art Archives in Zurich, the «Ufficio di contatto» is responsible for documentation and scholarship relating to artistic activities in Italian-speaking areas of the country, compiling information about artists, exhibitions and institutions. Other important tasks are to compose and update entries on some 1,200 artists who have links with southern Switzerland and to commission new articles for posting online at SIKART Lexicon of Art in Switzerland. Here users can now consult more than 200 detailed biographical contributions about past and present artists in Ticino and the Italian Grigioni, written by eminent experts, most of whom are based in the region. The contact point also provides the Institute with translations.
The Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIK-ISEA) was founded in 1951 and has become a centre of competence in art history and art technology with an international reputation. Our core activities are research, documentation, the dissemination of knowledge and the provision of services in the world of the fine arts. Our focus lies with the production of art in Switzerland from the Middle Ages until the present day. The headquarters of our Institute are housed in Villa Bleuler in Zurich, built in 1885-1888 to a design by Alfred Friedrich Bluntschli. Since 1988 SIK-ISEA has maintained a branch in francophone Switzerland, our «Antenne romande» at the University of Lausanne.