Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation, SIK-ISEA enjoys the status of an independent research establishment. SIK-ISEA is financed in part by substantial funds from the Swiss Confederation, the Canton and City of Zurich and other cantons. Equally important are competitive research grants, income from the provision of services, and donations from benefactors and other foundations. The Association for the Promotion of SIK-ISEA offers both financial and intangible support.
The Institute’s headquarters are in Zurich at Villa Bleuler, built in 1885–1888 to plans by Alfred Friedrich Bluntschli. Since 1988 SIK-ISEA has maintained a satellite in francophone Switzerland, its «Antenne romande» at Lausanne University. For the Italian-speaking region, the Institute opened an «Ufficio di contatto» in 2010 at the Museo Vincenzo Vela in Ligornetto, which is located in the Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana in Lugano since 2020.
Through its research, SIK-ISEA fosters fruitful exchange with universities, universities of applied sciences, museums and eminent specialists. It belongs to the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHS) and the Swiss National Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM Switzerland) and it is a founding member of the International Association of Research Institutes in the History of Art (RIHA).
Organisation chart [in German]