Part of the University of Essex, ESCALA is the UK’s most complete public resource for art from Latin America.
The University of Essex has been a centre for the study of Latin America since the 1960s.
ESCALA was founded in 1993 with the intention that it should build and maintain a diverse collection of post-1900 art from that area, and it often works directly with artists to foster an understanding of Latin America as a culturally vibrant area.
Outdoor sculptures form the collection can be seen in the campus grounds, and works of art are on long-term display in the Albert Sloman Library. In 2007 ESCALA was shortlisted for the Art Fund International scheme. Although it was not among the five consortia who were eventually chosen, the application led to the plan to convert an existing building on the University campus into a home for the collection.
The collection has more than 750 artworks from 1900 to the present, with a particular emphasis on art produced since the 1960s. The majority of the current holdings are prints, drawings and paintings, although the range of media is very broad and includes sculpture, installations, videos, and photographs.
There are outstanding works by Carlos Cruz-Diez, José Pedro Costigliolo, María Freire, Rufino Tamayo, Antonio Henrique Amaral, Lotte Schulz, Fanny Sanín, Nadín Ospina, León Ferrari, Jorge Macchi, Luis Camnitzer and Milagros de la Torre.