Where are the Esso Salon artworks now?
In 1970, with the assistance of José Gómez Sicre, then the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Latin Art at the Organization of American States, the Exxon (formerly Esso) Company donated 59 works of art to the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami. The works had been acquired as a result of the Esso Salons of Young Artists throughout Latin American in 1964-65. These 59 pieces of art were the winning works presented at the Washington, D.C. Esso Salon in April 1965.
In 1978, José Gómez Sicre organized the first major exhibition of these works since their donation. This exhibition, called Contemporary Latin American Art: The Esso Collection of the Lowe Art Museum and Latin American Artists of the Southeastern U.S., appeared at the Lowe Museum September 14- October 8, 1978. The works were shown alongside those of Cuban artists working in the United States. In the introduction to the exhibition catalogue, Gomez Sicre reminisces about the 1964-65 Salons, “How fascinating it was to discover at the time unknown talent on the way to maturity! Looking back, the results could not have been more positive…To see for the second time the exhibit…was for me a complete revelation.” [i]
Today, sculptural works from the Esso Salons can be seen around the campus of the University of Miami, such as Brote (Sprout) by Olivier Seguin, located in the Physics Quadrangle. There are currently no works from the Salons on view in the Lowe Museum. [ii]