Published: September 12, 2000
SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. – On Sunday, September 3, noted American folk art collectors Julie Palley, 57, Samuel (Sandy) Palley, 59, and Joy Kanter, 56, died when Mr Palley’s single-engine Piper Saratoga SP plane crashed after apparently breaking up in midair. Mr Palley had been flying the plane.
Mr Kanter, present for the Cape Cod visit, stayed behind to close up the house and visit relatives in Boston, and therefore was not on board the return flight.
According to Paul Cox, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator, the plane, which was flying at 8,500 feet, dropped to 7,000 feet and out of the air traffic controller’s radar screen. The plane’s left wing was found a half-mile away from the crash site. Remaining wreckage was found in a swampy area near the University of Rhode Island.
Both Mr and Mrs Palley were licensed pilots. All three passengers were found wearing seatbelts, according to Cox.
Longtime friend of the Palley’s and Museum of American Folk Art Trustee Joan Johnson recalled, “I met Julie Palley about 20 years ago when we were involved with the Albert Einstein Medical Center. Julie collected Clarice Cliff pottery and English furniture. I collected folk art, and [the Palley’s] loved our house. They bought a Pennsylvania farmhouse, and began to collect wonderful American painted and decorated furniture. And it did go well with the pottery collection.
“Eventually I suggested that she become involved with the museum [of American Folk Art]. She was very active on the Executive Committee, ran the Fall Antiques Show, and this year was on the executive committee of the Philadelphia Antiques Show. She was very dedicated and a hard worker. They will both be sorely missed.”
Julie Palley joined the Board of the Museum of American Folk Art in 1995. She was a committed member of the Board and within a year she was appointed to the Executive Committee, the museum’s principal policy making committee, where she played an active role. Early in 2000, she was the trustee charged with heading the effort to enlarge and diversify the Board. As a result, in part, of that initiative, the Board has been strengthened immeasurably.
Julie also served on the Education Committee and was involved in organizing the lectures and walking tours at the Fall Antiques Show. Another area of great interest was the development of the museum’s capital campaign. She and Sandy were not only generous benefactors, but also introduced friends and business associates to the museum, such as the Fireman’s Fund.
Fireman’s Fund has supported the museum’s benefit opening of the Fall Antiques Show for the past two years. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company was also the major sponsor of the recent landmark exhibition “Millennial Dreams: Vision and Prophecy in American Folk Art.”
Joy Kanter, a professor at Montgomery County Community College, was also a known member of the Museum of American Folk Art.
Funeral services were held September 6 at Joseph Levine & Son Memorial Chapels, 4737 Street Road, Trevose, Pa. Friends and colleagues attending the funeral included Museum of American Folk Art trustees and staff, and antiques dealers Penny and Allan Katz, Grace and Elliot Snyder, Sam Herrup, and Patrick Bell.
Samuel and Julie Palley are survived by their daughters, Margot, Kyra, and Alix.
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