It is the largest single archival collection ever acquired by the institute, assembled by “perhaps the most famous curator of the post-war era”, the institute said on its website.
Szeemann, born in Bern in 1933, was an ardent advocate of modern and contemporary art and his archive and library contains a comprehensive record of his correspondence with major artists, curators, and scholars from the late 1950s until his death in 2005.
The archive, housed in a former watch factory in the Ticino village of Maggia will now be prepared for shipping to the United States.
It includes some 36,000 photos documenting Szeemann’s 300 exhibitions and his collaboration with artists such as Joseph Beuys, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra and Cy Twombly.
The collection also includes Szeemann's extensive library, which comprises rare monographs, artists' books, and limited edition publications, as well as specialised collections on topics ranging from anarchism, science fiction, and pataphysics to other lesser-known artistic movements.