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Essex Collection of Art from Latin America

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About the collection

'Yesterdays', Artemio Alisio, 1994

The Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA) is the only public collection in Europe dedicated exclusively to modern and contemporary art from Latin America.

The collection was founded in 1993 when Charles Cosac, then an MA student in the Department of Art History and Theory at University of Essex, donated Siron Franco's dramatic painting 'Memória' to the University. The Collection has since grown to more than 600 works through the generosity of many other donors, artists, supporters and friends, and the holdings now represent some of the best modern and contemporary artists.

Selections of work from ESCALA are displayed permanently in the grounds of the University's Wivenhoe Park and in the University's Albert Sloman Library, whose Latin American holdings are among the best in Europe. Artworks are also permanently displayed in the ESCALA Gallery in the Silberrad Student Centre at the University of Essex, Colchester Campus. In addition, the ESCALA Teaching and Research Space, opened at the end of 2015, is a purpose-designed, multi-functional space at the University of Essex Colchester Campus where the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America is stored, displayed and used in teaching and research, all within one room.


The collection is also complemented by the ESCALA Documentation Centre, a collection of special materials including catalogues, artists' correspondence and printed ephemera. The ESCALA Documentation Centre contains material on many artist within the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America, as well as many other artists from the region. The Documentation Centre is located near the ESCALA Teaching and Research Space and is currently available to external researchers by appointment only.

Appointments to consult artworks and/or archival item for the purposes of research can be made by emailing We request that you consult our online catalogue at before contacting us and we reserve the right to limit access to some artworks based on their condition/availability (they may be on loan). For more details please visit:

The ESCALA Online Project

In 2002, the University received a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to deliver the collection online as a fully searchable catalogue accessible to internet users worldwide. The catalogue (formerly known as UECLAA Online) contains images of each artwork, texts on every artist, unique artists' statements, and a glossary devised to illuminate themes and terms arising from the study of Latin American Art.

'It is Not Good For Man to Be Alone', Juan Carlos Diotti, 1991 'Idol with Doll', Nadín Ospina, 2000 From the series 'Squares and Rectangles', José Pedro Costigliolo, 1970 'Green', Eulises Niebla, 1993

Copyright and Contact Details

The images and information presented in this database are the copyright of the University of Essex, Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA). The database is intended for education and pleasure. Without further permission, you may access, download and print images and texts on a temporary basis for study purposes or personal domestic use. However, if you wish to use this material in any other way than those specified above, you must seek separate permission. Please contact ESCALA at or write to the address below.

Every effort has been made to trace the copyright holders and gain permission for use of images and texts within this collection. We would be grateful for any information concerning omissions or oversights. If any material in ESCALA Online does contravene copyright, we will withdraw it immediately, if appropriate.

'Transnational Anthem 2', Jaime Gili, 1999
Address: Essex Collection of Art from Latin America
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1206 874438

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