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Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA)

BA Curatorial Studies

Two men carrying a painting

Our new BA Curatorial Studies degree provides you with the expert knowledge and practical skills for pursuing careers in curating, gallery management and museums and combines class-based learning with hands-on experience.

Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA) is a public accredited museum at the University of Essex. ESCALA has over 700 artworks from 1900 to now, an extensive archive and library, and is based in our new state-of-the-art teaching and research space.

Working closely with our Centre for Curatorial Sutdies, students have access to the collection as part of teaching and for research, and enjoy a variety of opportunities to work with ESCALA, including through work placements and contributing to its online catalogue.

The collection was founded in 1993 by Professor Dawn Ades, CBE, and Professor Valerie Fraser, and is run by two of our alumni, Director Dr Joanne Harwood and Collections Assistant Dr Sarah Demelo.


ESCALA runs an ongoing programme of exhibitions and many artworks are on display across our Colchester Campus. Our students have also worked as guest curators for exhibitions including Connecting Through Collecting: 20 Years of Art from Latin America at the University of Essex, Unravelling threads and Southern press: prints from Brazil, Paraguay, and Chile.


ESCALA runs an ongoing public programme of curators’ talks, seminars and symposia, which our students attend and contribute to. The collection also commissions artists’ performances, with previously invited artists including Felipe Ehrenberg, Regina José Galindo, and Cecilia Vicuña.

PINTA, the Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art show

ESCALA has been regularly involved with PINTA, the Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art show since its first London edition in 2010, participating in its Museums Acquisition Programme alongside Tate Modern, Centre Georges Pompidou and the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, as well as contributing to its public programme.

Undergraduate study

Undergraduate study

Undergraduate study in art history at Essex offers a unique combination of the historical and theoretical study of art, visual culture and curating from the renaissance to the present.

Postgraduate study

Postgraduate study

We are internationally recognised as a leading centre of postgraduate study in art history and curatorial studies, both at Masters and PhD level.

Curatorial Studies

Centre for Curatorial Studies

Our Centre for Curatorial Studies is a research and teaching unit based in our School that focuses on contemporary curatorial theory and practice and contemporary museology.

PhD study

Postgraduate research study

By undertaking PhD study at Essex, you will become a member of an exciting and active research community, and benefit from the expert supervision of our internationally recognised staff.