COLLECTIONS POLICIES

The Essex Collection of Art from Latin America is a university museum that in 2007 was accredited by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (now Arts Council). As an accredited museum, ESCALA and its users are guided by our Collection Management Policy and Acquisition Policy that cover areas of activity including acquisitions, loans, conservation, enquiries and research. These policies reviewed regularly and are available to consult online.

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

How do I borrow from ESCALA?

ESCALA promotes its mission to increase research, awareness and appreciation of art from Latin American by lending works to other institutions in the UK and abroad. Loans are generally to temporary exhibitions.

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. Further information about our loans policy can be found in the Collection Management Policy document.

Why does ESCALA turn down donations of works of art when they are free?

All acquisitions must be approved by the ESCALA’s Acquisitions Committee which reviews the potential donation at meetings three times a year. Unfortunately, not all donations can be approved as the Committee must take into consideration all conservation and storage requirements as well as maintaining the integrity of the Collection.

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.

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

If you would like to donate an artwork, please write to the Director giving the following details: the name of the artist, artwork title, year (if known), medium and dimensions. We will then acknowledge your request and submit the proposal to the Acquisitions Committee which will decide on the outcome of the potential donation.

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

If you would like to donate an artwork, please write to the Director giving the following details: the name of the artist, artwork title, year (if known), medium and dimensions. We will then acknowledge your request and submit the proposal to the Acquisitions Committee which will decide on the outcome of the potential purchase.

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. For further information about ESCALA and de-accessioning please see the Collection Management Policy.

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