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The fine art collection contains approximately 2,000 items including around 200 oils, 120 watercolours and 1,400 prints of various types. The majority of the works were acquired by bequest and donation from four local collectors: the Dootson Collection is mainly oils and watercolours, including the work of several well-known nineteenth century British artists such as Frederic Leighton, Myles Birket Foster (watercolours), Luke Fildes and Lawrence Alma-Tadema (watercolours); the Crawford Collection has around 1,242 hand-coloured political caricatures of the period 1789–1815, mainly French, but with some by British artists including James Gillray and George Cruickshank; the Prosser-White Collection contains nineteenth century local historical and topographical subjects; and the Peer-Groves Collection contains watercolours and ink and wash drawings. Highlights of the oil paintings in the collection include Sovereign Mills, George Earl’s Going North, various local portraits, and works by Theodore Major and James Lawrence Isherwood. Another important painting is the portrait of Sir Roger and Lady Bradshaigh by Edward Haytley, 1746, which was purchased in 1981 with the assistance of the Art Fund. The service no longer collects fine art, except in exceptional circumstances. The fine art collection is managed by WLCT on behalf of Wigan Council.