The Essex Collection of Art from Latin America is a university museum that has been accredited by Arts Council England since 2001. As an accredited museum, ESCALA and its users are guided by our Collection Management Policies and Acquisition Policy that cover areas of activity including acquisitions, loans, conservation, enquiries and research.

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to Collection are answered below.

How do I borrow from ESCALA?

We are a very small team and so we assess requests for loans carefully against available resources.
If you would like to borrow from ESCALA, you will need to write a formal letter of request to the Director which outlines which object(s) you would like to borrow and the relevance of the work(s) to the exhibition. All requests for loans should be submitted no less than six months in advance of the exhibition to allow for approval and for environmental and security checks to be carried out.

I would like to donate an artwork to ESCALA. What should I do?

Since 2014 ESCALA has shifted its main acquisition method from donation to purchase; either directly from an artist or gallery. This shift reflects the greater extent to which acquisitions are now linked to interdisciplinary teaching and research at the University of Essex. Potential acquisitions that relate to research and teaching priorities are identified by ESCALA staff and by students who have the opportunity to propose an acquisition through a taught Masters module: Collecting Art from Latin America. The final decision lies with the ESCALA Curator and Assistant Curator. Artworks are also acquired with research funding as part of collaborative projects with academic staff and students.

Can you value my artwork?

While the Collection uses external valuations for all works, we are unable to provide valuations for the public. If you would like a work valued, we suggest that you contact an auction house or art valuer.

What is ESCALA’s policy on de-accessioning?

The Collection has the power to de-accession works whether by gift, exchange or sale but the proposal must be approved by the governing body, the University of Essex Council. Reasons for de-accession may be curatorial or conservation (in the case of an item too badly damaged or deteriorated to be of any use for the purposes of the collections or for reasons of health and safety) but the Collection does not de-accession for purely financial means.

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