Home Events Second Tuesday Talks Re-viewing the Morton ‘cope’

Re-viewing the Morton ‘cope’

Auckland frontal - Morton 'cope'. Image © The Zurbarán Trust/The Auckland Project

Image © The Zurbarán Trust/The Auckland Project

The Morton ‘cope’ is a rare survival of a medieval cope associated Cardinal Archbishop John Morton, who was both Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor (c.1420-1500). Previously in private hands, it is now in the collection of Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland. The ‘cope’ is thought to have been made sometime between 1450 and 1500.

In the second of our Winter Series of Second Tuesday Talks, Dr Mary Brooks (Durham University) and Dr Sonia O’Connor (University of Bradford) will explore the ‘cope’s’ construction and iconography, which includes a rare and very beautiful embroidered Lily Crucifix.

The talk will describe the outcomes of research projects, funded by the Society of Antiquaries, to ‘unpick’ its complex biography using a variety of technical and textual sources including radiography to propose an alternative understanding of the nature of the ‘cope’ and a new history of its fragmentation and remaking.

Following their talk, Dr Brooks and Dr O’Connor will be joined by Auckland Project curator Amina Wright, for a Q&A session.

About the Speakers


Mary is Director of the MA International Cultural Heritage Management in the Department of Archaeology, Durham University where she is an Associate Professor. Trained as a textile conservator at the Textile Conservation Centre, Hampton Court Palace /Courtaulds Institute, she then she worked in America and England undertaking both conservation and curatorial roles. In 1998 she returned to the Textile Conservation Centre as Head of Studies and Research and subsequently became Reader and Programme Leader for their MA Museum & Galleries at the University of Southampton. She was Acting Director of Studies, MA Cultural Heritage Management at the University of York and Monument Fellow at York Castle Museum. Her research interests include seventeenth-century embroideries, including guest curating The Eye of the Needle exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum (2014), the use of X-radiography for understanding of textiles and dress, vestments and ecclesiastical textiles as well as regenerated protein fibres. Mary has a particular interest in object-based research and conservation as a means of interpreting cultural artefacts. She is a Governor of the Pasold Fund and a Trustee of the Textile Conservation Foundation.

Sonia O’Connor  PhD, FSA, FIIC, ACR

Sonia studied archaeological conservation at the Institute of Archaeology, London, and worked at the National Maritime Museum, University College Cardiff, and the York Archaeological Trust. In 1995 she joined the Department of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford, where she undertook research, taught conservation and established international CPD courses on the identification of worked animal hard tissues and cultural materials radiography. Sonia received the 2002 Nemet Award of the British Institute of Non–Destructive Testing and her PhD in 2008, both for her work in radiography. Having retired in 2017 she continues to publish, teach CPD courses and undertake collaborative research.


12 January 2021


8:00 am - 8:00 pm


Online (Zoom)

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