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Oil painting of a boy on a donkey in the countryside

Donkey Boy on Blackhill, Cerne Abbas, Joseph Benwell Clark, 1885

The fine art collection consists of oils, watercolours, drawings, prints, and sculpture. The diverse range of visual material reflects the evolution of an art collection acquired over 150 years. Dating from the 17th century to the present it shows Dorset’s history, people, natural history and landscape. Dorset has long been a source of artistic inspiration and attracted visiting artists such as John Constable, Paul Nash and Frederick Whitehead. Others were either born in the county or came to live here such as Sir James Thornhill, Thomas Beach, Alfred Stevens, Henry Moule, Reynolds Stone and Elisabeth Frink, all represented in the collection. We also have collections of the studio work of Elizabeth Muntz, Elsie Barling, Mabel Wickham, John Everett and Alfred Stevens, as well as personal collections featuring the work of Alfred Wallis and Christopher Wood.