TREASURED artwork donated to Dorset County Hospital by renowned sculpture Dame Elisabeth Frink will be leaving the site for the first time in almost 30 years to go on show at two European museums.

The Dog sculpture was gifted to the Dorchester site by the artist herself - a former patron of the site - in the early 1990s at the very beginnings of DCH's Arts in Hospital organisation.

It has become one of the site’s most treasured possessions, and is popular with staff, patients and visitors.

But it is now preparing to leave the site for the first time as it goes on loan to the Gerhard Marcks Museum in Bremen, Germany and then to the Museum Beelden aan Zee at The Hague in Holland.

It will return back to the hospital in June 2021.

Suzy Rushbrook, Arts in Hospital Manager at Dorset County Hospital said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Arts in Hospital to celebrate the impressive art collection at DCH which we are privileged to be able to enjoy on a daily basis.

“Elisabeth Frink was one of the major sculptors working in the second half of the 20th century and we are proud to be able to contribute to the enjoyment and education of a new audience by loaning it in this way.

“Collaborations like this help signify that Dorset and Dorchester continue to play a significant part in Frink’s artistic legacy and highlight the importance of our hospital’s outstanding art collection on an international level.”

The new exhibition featuring the Dog sculpture is entitled Elisabeth Frink: Man is an Animal. It looks at Frink’s work in the context of a much wider sculptural tradition. It will provide European audiences with a rare opportunity to discover Frink’s many connections to European art and see how her work was strongly influenced by key artists such as Rodin and early Greek art.

While the sculpture is on loan, staff and visitors to DCH will be able to enjoy a new piece called Ponyrider, by Gerhard Marcks, which will be in place until the Dog returns in June 2021.