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Catalog Data

H x W x D: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1 cm (3 3/4 x 2 9/16 x 3/8 in)
Orissa, India
ca. 1300
Wendy F. Findlay (Mrs. Royall Victor III), method of acquisition unknown [1]
Unidentified dealer, New York, NY, method of acquisition unknown [2]
Dr. Frederick Baekeland (1928-2017), purchased from Unidentified dealer, New York, NY, in New York, NY [3]
Peter Marks Gallery, New York, NY, purchased from Dr. Frederick Baekeland in New York [4]
From 1992
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Peter Marks Gallery [5]
[1] See invoice from Peter Marks Gallery to the Freer Gallery of Art, dated March 2, 1992, copy in object file. Object is described as “Mithuna Plaque.” The provenance on the invoice is described as “Ex. Collections: Frederick Baekeland, New York; Wendy Findlay (Victor), New York.”
Further research is required to determine when Wendy Findlay (Mrs. Royall Victor III) owned this object.
Wendy F. Findlay (Mrs. Royall Victor III) (born Wendy Farrell; formerly Mrs. Bertold H. Waldorf; formerly Mrs. Harry Peter Findlay) is a collector of Indian paintings, arts benefactor, and amateur researcher of Asian and Islamic art in New York and Connecticut. In 1974, Findlay married H. Peter Findlay, an art dealer and the owner of H. Peter Findlay Works of Art (founded 1972) in New York, NY. The Findlay family is a multi-generation art dealing family that established themselves in 1870 in Kansas City, Missouri. Objects from her collection may be found at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Williams College Art Museum in Massachusetts.
[2] See letter from Dr. Frederick Baekeland to Peter Marks, dated April 26, 1990, copy in object file. In his brief letter to Peter Marks, Dr. Frederick Baekeland said, “This [letter] is to confirm the provenance of the two 13th century Indian ivory erotic plaques I sold to you in 1982. I bought them from an Indian dealer here in New York City in December of 1969.” The letter is typed on Dr. Frederick Baekeland’s personal letterhead.
[3] See note 2.
Dr. Frederick Baekeland was a psychiatrist, collector, and dealer of Japanese and Asian art in New York, NY. Born in Bronxville, NY, Dr. Baekeland was the grandson of Leo H. Baekeland (1863-1944), the Belgium-born inventor of Bakelite plastic. Dr. Baekeland first became interested in Asian art when he was station in Japan while serving in the US Army. Upon returning to the US, Dr. Baekeland entered Cornell University in 1951 and subsequently obtained his medical degree from Yale University’s Medical School. Dr. Baekeland practiced in the field of psychiatry, however, in 1976 he and his wife, Joan Davis Baekeland, began dealing in Japanese art and they established Toyobi Far Eastern Art, Inc., in New York, NY. In 1981, Dr. Baekeland published the article “Psychological Aspects of Art Collecting” in the journal “Psychiatry.” In addition to Japanese art, Dr. Baekeland collected Hudson River School paintings and contemporary glass. Object from his collection may be found in the Art Institute of Chicago, Birmingham Museum of Art, The British Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Saint Louis Art Museum, The Walters Art Museum, and Yale University Art Gallery among others.
[4] See note 2.
See also fax from Peter Marks, M. J. Pinto & Co. Inc. and Peter Marks Gallery, to Dr. Carol Bolon, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, dated February 20, 1992, time-stamped 12:05, copy in object file. In the fax Peter Marks stated, “I acquired this ivory in New York.”
[5] See Freer Gallery of Art “Acquisition Consideration Form,” approved on May 18, 1992, copy in object file.
Research updated March 22, 2023
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Exhibition History:
Body Image (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
Previous custodian or owner:
Wendy F. Findlay (Mrs. Royall Victor III)
Dr. Frederick Baekeland (1928-2017)
Peter Marks Works of Art, Inc. (active 1960-2002)
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South Asian and Himalayan Art  Search this
Credit Line:
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
Related Online Resources:
Google Cultural Institute
See more items in:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery