• M
  • Conroy Maddox
The Cloak of Secrecy
© The Artist

Reference URL

The Cloak of Secrecy 1940
This sculpture was conceived by Maddox in 1940 after he spotted a mannequin which was about to be thrown out of a shop. He took it home and added various found objects - a plastic lobster, a painted bottle, netting and other elements - to transform it into the 'Cloak of Secrecy'. Maddox feels that his surrealist objects, such as this piece, discredit the world of reality as we perceive it. He has remarked that this piece 'took on the absurd quality of a dream with its lack of apparent reasonableness.'

Glossary Open

Found material

Existing objects or images that are incorporated into an artwork. A found object that is treated as an artwork without modification is known as a readymade.


A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.

Found material, Surrealism


  • Acc. No. GMA 4283
  • Medium Mixed media, including mannequin parts, plastic lobster, painted bottle, netting, sequins, doll's head and wire.
  • Size 173.00 x 38.00 x 38.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased with a contribution from The Elephant Trust 1999