Impressions of the Institute history: 1951–2010

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Since its foundation in 1951, the Swiss Institute for Art Research (nowadays abbreviated to SIK-ISEA) has evolved from modest beginnings as a private initiative into an internationally acknowledged centre of competence in the fields of art technology and the documentation and study of art in Switzerland. In 1981 the Federal Council, Switzerland’s government, recognised it as a research establishment as defined by the University Development Act. Later, from 1992, it was embraced by the Federal Research Act. By acquiring its recent status in 2008 as an Institute for Advanced Study, SIK-ISEA has become a valued partner in the Swiss landscape of higher education. The renewal and transformation experienced by the Institute during these 60 years provide good reasons to look back at this history and trace the thread of continuity that has sustained it throughout all these changes, which are described in detail in the richly illustrated volume recently published.