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The collection comprises pages of notes relating to the condition of certain paintings at the National Gallery, lists of pictures at the Grosvenor Gallery, notes on Bolton's cleaning methods, a list of pictures cleaned in 1852 and remarks on the poor condition of pictures bequeathed to the nation by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851).
Some of the items relate to the evidence that Bolton gave to the Select Committee on the National Gallery on 29 April 1853 regarding the cleaning and restoration of pictures and damage arising from the employment of particular cleaning practices.
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