Julie Jones

August 26th, 1935 - June 22nd, 2021

The beginning of her new career as an ancestor

Biography


Julie Jones enjoyed a full, rich and productive life, touching for the better scores of others over the years.  She passed away just over a month before her 86th birthday; many will know a portion of her story, but her full journey was supremely a life well lived.


Early Years


Julie Jones was born in 1935 in San Diego and spent part of her early childhood in Salt Lake City. Her mother and father, Barbara Newman and Burke Jones, both from Mormon families in Utah, married young, had two daughters, and divorced a few years later. Barbara, who Julie would often say was the smartest person she ever met, found work with a local radio station in Salt Lake City and eventually moved her two young daughters, Julie and Gael, to San Francisco, where she worked for Voice of America for several years. 


The family lived in San Francisco during World War II and that's where Barbara met and married Donald ("Don") Pryor, who covered the war for CBS. They later moved to Washington, D.C., and then to Geneva, Switzerland, where Don worked for the United Nations and Barbara gave birth to Julie's brother, Tony. The family then lived in New York for a short period of time before returning to D.C. As a young adult, Julie spent time in Paris, studying French and living with a family there. These experiences likely helped cement Julie’s enduring love of travel and curiosity for the world. 


Julie graduated from George Washington University with a major in French literature. She always liked to say that, at the time, the main career option for women was to be a typist and because she wasn’t very good at that, she decided to become a museum curator. The truth is only a little less fantastical. At the end of college, Julie developed a love for museums and Precolumbian art while working at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., selling postcards “and telling people how to find the ladies’ room.”


After a brief period in New York after school, she decided to pursue her passion and returned to the National Gallery job, taking evening classes in art history to apply for graduate school. She was accepted into the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU, launching both her career in the museum world and her career as a New Yorker. 


Julie's Career


As part of the IFA program in 1958, Julie held an internship at the now defunct Museum of Primitive Art, founded by Nelson Rockefeller. She was soon offered a full-time position as research assistant and worked her way up to curator. In 1975, she moved with that collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she became Curator of Precolumbian art in the newly established Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas (AAOA). 


During her 38-year tenure at the Met, Julie served 21 years as the head of the AAOA department, including six years as Andrall E. Pearson Curator in Charge. The Met describes her as a “preeminent scholar of Precolumbian art” and named her Curator Emerita after she retired in 2013. She continued to keep an office in the museum, where she worked until the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The Met described Julie’s work in a recent announcement about her death: 


"Julie was a beloved member of the staff for 38 years… Julie’s leadership and scholarship were integral to the success of the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing from its founding until her retirement in 2013. She organized a number of exhibitions showcasing the art of the ancient American world, including Desert Valley: Early Works from Ica, Peru (1983); The Art of Precolumbian Gold: The Jan Mitchell Collection (1985); Houses for the Hereafter, Funerary Temples of Guerrero, Mexico (1987); Andean FourCornered Hats (1990); Ancient Peruvian Mantles (1995); Jade in Ancient Costa Rica (1999); Heritage of Power: Ancient Sculpture from West Mexico—The Andrall E. Pearson Family Collection (2004); and The Andean Tunic (2011). Julie Jones also contributed to Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries (1990), and served on the Editorial Board of the Metropolitan Museum Journal for 25 years. 


As head of the department, she oversaw the renovation of a number of Rockefeller Wing galleries, including the Jan Mitchell Treasury for Precolumbian Works of Art in Gold, and an extensive renovation of the Oceanic galleries. Julie continued to be a vital presence in the Michael C. Rockefeller Department until shortly before her death. Julie’s passion and dedication for her field of study – and her ever-lively personality – were treasured by all who knew her, and she will be greatly missed."


Julie was a long time friend and supporter of the Precolumbian collection at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC, as well as a member of the Advisory Panel for the Kislak Foundation Collection at the Library of Congress, both of which would send her to Washington regularly over the years after her retirement.


The Seaport and New York Life


Julie’s career as a New Yorker was no less engaging. After two decades living in Manhattan, Julie bought her beloved loft on Water Street in South Street Seaport in 1979, in a building within 200 feet of the Brooklyn Bridge.  The building initially housed a cracker factory, provisioning the many tall ships docked in the East River a block away, and then was used as a records repository before being turned into lofts. For years she served as the co-op treasurer, lending her fastidiousness and exacting insights to the building’s daily operations.


A lifelong animal lover, Julie and her beloved German Short Haired Pointer Bella were fixtures in Central Park for years but Bella sadly was exiled to Washington to accomodate Julie's Lexington Ave. neighbors, before Julie's move to Water Street.  Julie kept an eye on the downtown neighborhood wildlife, notably domesticating (in her words, ‘befriending’) a cat she named Sydney, that had gotten in over its head with some tabbys in the Seaport’s fish market. Beginning in her 40s, Julie became an avid and accomplished equestrian, frequently going on riding trips in the City and Connecticut.


New York uniquely suited Julie’s fascination with the everyday details of people and life. She would chat up the deli owner on her corner, strike up conversation with a passerby or take her co-op neighbor out for drinks. She would spend as much time meticulously taking in the exhibits of any museum as she would carefully combing through vintage stores for a household item. Julie sought out theater, music, and art that was off the beaten path and would often accompany or invite her nieces to obscure shows all over New York. She was as happy to attend an opening at the Met as she was to accompany a friend to a  delicious hole in the wall or attend a play at a leather bar with her niece—nothing ever curbed her interest in the world around her.


She also enjoyed leaving the Big Apple from time to time, beyond her various work related trips.  This included exploring the world with the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), whose members shared a love for slooooow study tours to Cuba, China, the Baltic and elsewhere.  She often joined her family and friends in Connecticut, West Virginia, Maine and other nearby places, just to get out of the city, as well as visiting relatives in Salt Lake City and exploring the colorful history of her relative Willie Betty Newman. Over the years she also made the trek out to Australia to visit her dear sister Gael, and to Kenya and then Washington, D.C. to visit her brother Tony and his family.


A Deep Dedication to Collecting Unusual Art and Lasting Friendships


While Julie’s personal taste in art mirrored her particular New York style (antiques and crafts that suited her post-industrial loft), it also reflected more complex aspects of her character—one possibly shaped by being a woman in a male-dominated career, a baby in the Great Depression, and a child to a family often in motion. Julie was a prolific collector of ships in a bottle and kept a dozen or so of them lining a spotlit alcove in her apartment. This gave way to an interest in all things bottled, including several works by artist Mae Wilson that featured little girl dolls contorted to fit in small glass bottles. Julie had several pieces of Wilson’s work, an artist who also collected and honored the mundane, but important object.


Her love of art was also inspired by her great-aunt, Willie Betty Newman, who was a renowned painter and “a lady of outsized personality.”  Julie worked with her mother to systematically document and inventory all of Newman's works; Julie was particularly enthralled with Newman's strong belief that no doors need limit someone with drive, enthusiasm and an inability to be encumbered by propriety.  At her best, Newman went to Paris to study painting and exhibited still lifes and landscapes at the salons, before returning to Cincinnati to be constrained by the business of art, ending up focused on painting "white men in dark suits", as Julie summarized Newman's later work. 


Julie’s home also featured the art of the people she loved. Throughout the apartment Julie proudly featured many pieces by friend and artist John Willenbacher. In her large walk-in closet, Julie filled her space with notes, gifts and cards from loved ones. Here she showcased her deep devotion and loyalty to family, with many pictures and postcards from Tony and Gael and their families. Julie maintained a close friendship and allyship with her siblings over the decades and, in Gael’s case, across thousands of miles of ocean. A private person who often kept her family, friends, and colleagues separate, Julie’s closet is a tribute to the deep love she had for all the people she held dear. 


Truly, Julie never stopped learning and seeking knowledge. She had a sharp wit and spoke her mind. She was a supreme gift-giver and loved nothing more than to have a meal with friends and family, accompanied by a nice glass of wine. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. 


Her New Career as an Ancestor


Julie passed away peacefully in hospice care with family at her side in Maryland on July 22, 2021. She is survived (and missed) by her sister, Gael Boon, and brother, Tony Pryor; her nieces and nephews, Anthony, Aimee, Madeleine, Rebecca, and Ben; her cousin, Christopher; and many cousins and relatives of the Jones and Newman families in Salt Lake. As one of her close colleagues shared with the family, "the Incas believed that this stage of life was not an ending but the beginning of a new career as an ancestor."


 

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Family

About

Name Julie Jones
Date of Birth August 26th, 1935
Date of Death June 22nd, 2021
Home Town Salt Lake City, UT, US 
Other City New York, NY, US 
Interests Riding, Exploring everything in New York, Study Tours with the Society of Architectural Historians, Enjoying life with her family
Favourite Saying Pllllease!
Family

Family

SiblingsTony Pryor, Gael Boone
ParentsBurke Jones, Barbara Jones Pryor
Grand-ParentsWalter Jones, Jennie Jones, William Gold Newman, Elizabeth (Libby) Newman
View Family Tree
Milestone

Milestones

1965 - 1974 Assistant Curator, Museum of Primitive Art
1974 - 1975 Curator, Museum of Primitive Art
1975 - 1990 Curator of Precolumbian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1990 - 1992 Curator and Acting Department Head, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1992 - 2013 Department Head: Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Tributes



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Zette Emmons published a tribute .

I was Julie's neighbor on Water Street for many years, but I really got to know her after her former colleague Christine Lilyquist introduced us. One evening we were enjoying a glass of wine down at the corner and I discovered she had lived in my home town as a child during WWII. The one thing she remembered was the name of the ferocious lady who ran her school: Miss Sybil Nye. I did a little research and found other people who had gone to the school, and its exact location (of course I knew exactly where it was, Mill Valley, CA is not a very large town. It bonded us and the few other museum professionals from Mill Valley (three of us total) invited her to be the fourth member of the "Mill Valley Girls' Club." I wish I had known her longer and better, I always loved running into her on the street. I think of her every time I walk by her building - many times a day. You are missed, Julie!

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Betsy Bassan published a tribute .

Julie Jones – Memorial September 18, 2021

A year of so much loss. Losing Julie was a devastating part of it.

I could talk about almost 40 years of sisterhood with Julie, dating back to the early 80s before Tony and I got married, our rehearsal dinner at Julie’s then relatively new loft, to seeing her on her last day in mid-June. Julie, always my sister-in-law, through almost 3 decades of marriage and another amicable decade beyond.

I could talk about almost 40 years of wandering through life together, visiting each other – twice in Kenya -- and celebrating all of life’s passages because we are a family of celebrators – birthdays, holidays of all kinds, and more. I could talk about how through all those years Julie delighted us with the unexpected and the beautiful in her always very thoughtful presents, how Julie amazed us with her accomplishments, how Julie taught us all with her seriousness of purpose in everything she did – whether work, shopping, eating, touristing, or just being.

One can’t speak of Julie without remarking on her intense love of her family, especially her mom and siblings and their offspring. Tony was her special little brother. Although Julie’s end came suddenly, I am so glad she was still able to pass literally in the bosom of the family she held so dear – with my daughter Rebecca, her niece, that she loved so much, sleeping next to her, all of us having been in to say goodbye hours earlier. Tony and Inia, Madeleine, John and Caroline, me with my Larry, Ben calling in.
I could speak of all this, of the many memories.

But coming out of the Jewish days of awe, when we reflect deeply on our loved ones who have passed and on life’s many other challenges, certainly felt so strongly in these times, I am moved to share some of those views. A core belief is that we keep each other from despair when death and grief befall us, reaching out and helping each other find what has gone missing, filling the large black hole that grief creates.

I watched as my family did this for each other after Julie’s too sudden departure, helping each other through by together creating today’s tribute to Julie. It fills me with awe and wonder. It gives truth to the Jewish saying of the dead, “So long as we live, they too shall live for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.” Tony, Madeleine, Rebecca, Ben – you have etched Julie into our memories; now she will surely live on as a blessing in all of us. You have given true succor to each other, filling in for what has gone missing, for you and for us all. Thank you.

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Joanne Pillsbury published a tribute .

When Tony wrote to me to tell me of the sad news of Julie’s passing, I reminded him that the Incas believed that death is not an ending. It is the beginning of a great new career as an ancestor.

This concept is actually not so foreign. Jonas Salk said that our most important role on earth is to become a good ancestor, to leave the place in a better state than in which you found it.

And Julie is a great ancestor. This is not surprising: Julie knew a thing or two about the Incas. One of her earliest publications was the landmark catalog on Inca art, Art of Empire. Her publications remain much consulted, and they will endure. Similarly, Julie left a legacy within the collections of the ancient Americas through the astute additions she made to them, additions that not only visually enrich the experiences of people now, but will provide rich opportunities to study and expand our knowledge of these essential cultures into the future.

And yet, arguably, her greatest legacy was in her role as a mentor, particularly to young women in the field. She inspired us, encouraged us, offered gentle correction—or sometimes not so gentle correction—and opened up worlds for us.

I think both the Incas and Jonas Salk would agree that Julie is a magisterial ancestor, and she lives on every day in the nuanced ways we go about our work, in the humane and warm ways we treat those around us, and in offering us not just new and challenging ways to view the ancient Americas, but the world. Thank you, Tony, Rebecca, and Madeleine, for sharing her with us.

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Tony Pryor published a tribute .

Here is the recording of the Memorial Service:

https://vimeo.com/615602213/ed4bd0ba97

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Gary Fagin published a tribute .

Dear Tony, Madeleine, and Rebecca: I was a neighbor of Julie's in the South Street Seaport for over 35 years. Julie was an indomitable spirit, passionate about the historical authenticity of our corner of New York City. We often shared stories about local denizens and commiserated about changes we felt diminished the authenticity of the neighborhood. She was an active participant in our local community advocacy group, the Seaport Community Coalition, a frequent helper in our community garden, FishBridge Park, as well as a generous and continuous supporter of my Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra. Although we, her Seaport friends, were aware of her prominence and highly regarded position at the Met, she wore those accomplishments very lightly; we knew her only as as a wonderful, friendly neighbor who, if one saw her walking down the opposite sidewalk, one always crossed the street to engage with her. Seeing Julie always brightened one's day.
She will be very much missed.

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Georgia De Havenon published a tribute .

I like to think of Julie, standing ramrod straight at the back of a reception, or in a gallery. Here you could find her always keenly observing the crowd, the objects, and the world around her. My husband and I learned many things from her and she was very generous with her time and knowledge. It didn't take long to become friends with such an upright, honest individual. We mourn her loss and she will be greatly missed, but the image of her in those galleries that she so carefully curated and loved will remain.

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Nicole Rossi published a comment .

Tony, Madeline, Rebecca, Thank you for including me and Mauro in a beautiful celebration of life service for Julie. Below is a copy of my remarks delivered yesterday. Sending you all much love.

Dear Julie,
One of the last times we saw one another, we shared a glass of wine together with my husband and children at a neighboring café in the Seaport. It was the eve of your second vaccine dose and our family had been well isolated in Vermont, returning to our home in the Seaport, only briefly to see loved ones. We hugged freely and tightly and I am glad we did. You were spritely and full of life and humorous; how I have always known you and will forever remember you. We laughed about the months that preceded and the visual of you sitting outside a Uhaul with a baguette and iced coffee “watching” the contents of the moving container which included my two children playing inside it. It was a humorous, loving send off by you- the occasion prior to that encounter in the cafe. Your niece called while we were together and you joked about how your family thought you were losing your mind. I never saw you losing your mind, but then again, I am the person whose loaner dog would sometimes end up in your apartment unknowingly and who had an 85 year old neighbor guard our most precious possessions. If I could have found a pair of quirky colorful sneakers for todays' celebration, I would have worn them. You were the epitome of elegance with a wonderful sense of humor that often caught me off-guard. If there was a story to be written from the second floor window about the milestones of my life with my husband and the birth and early years of my children, you could have written it. Thank you for being a neighbor that did not simply listen in quietly, but actively participated. I appreciated your willingness to listen and your lack of ego. I wish I knew you sooner- me and my family will forever be marked by your presence. Thank you for being you and for sharing moments of laughter and lightheadedness with me and my family throughout the years. You always celebrated my children as a joyous addition to our building and it gave me such pleasure to see them be able to reciprocate kindness to you, during the initial months of COVID.
COVID in our house became, about caring for and protecting you, Julie, and we focused on that joy, more so than anything else. For a while, our house was covered in notes written by you to the children- each time on a different animal themed post-card. Thank you for that. And your sweet tooth gave us license to experiment with a new normal of daily freshly made desserts. Siena and Luca were beaming each time they “read” how you were grateful for morning oatmeal and fruits but that the freshly made cider donuts or chocolate cake was an absolute delight. They connected with you in such an intimate way over food and language when connections were simply not happening. Thank you for the happiness and sense of purpose you provided us with (and the funny encounters), especially during that time. We had loving exchanges through our building elevator, which you affectionately called, "the magic elevator". We were sad to have left you when we fled to Vermont. Now that we have returned, you have left us, and it is not quite the same. If I could send this message to you in an elevator, I would, complete with flowers and sweets and wonderful wine, to let you know that we think of you often and miss you dearly. The milestones of our lives that were once captured from the second floor window by you will no longer be captured, but your memory will forever live in the second floor windows of 265 Water Street. Thank you for getting to know us and allowing us to get to know you. You are loved and you will be missed.
Rest in peace my dear friend,
Your Neighbor,
Nicole Rossi and Family (Mauro, Siena and Luca)

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Victoria Young published a tribute .

I so enjoyed every minute with Julie during our travels on the Society of Architectural Historians study tours to Southern China in December 2017 and Cuba in December 2018. (The image is Julie in Suzhou). She was a delightful travel companion. Smart, funny, inquisitive, and kind. I learned so much from her about life and art on these trips. She brightened everyone's day! And on behalf of the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), we send our sincerest condolences to Julie's family and friends. Our very best to you all, Victoria Young, President of the SAH

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Victoria Young published a comment .

And a tribute to Julie on the SAH website: https://www.sah.org/about-sah/news/member-news/2021/09/17/in-remembrance-julie-jones-(august-26-1935-june-22-2021)

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Mckenna Stayner published a tribute .

Sending you all so much love and light, dear Pryors and Burgingers and Gaudets and Bassans and more. I know AJ because of the way in which you welcome everyone into your large and beautiful family—I’m grateful to you for that, and for the chance to know Julie. She will curate the heavens for us all.

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Emily Umberger published a tribute .

Dear Tony, Madeleine, and Rebecca, Julie and I have been friends since the mid-1970s and I am devastated to hear of her death. Julie was very important to me. I worked with her at the Met as a researcher and cataloger while a student at Columbia and we remained friends ever since. I always appreciated her honesty and support, her warmth and humor, and her example as a scholar and human being. I am in Arizona now, but every time I visited New York after leaving in 1982, I looked forward to seeing her. Likewise at meetings at Dumbarton Oaks, where I always looked for her and could spot her from a distance especially when she wore her bright yellow jacket. Among recent memories was a vacation trip to Mexico to visit museums with Diana Fane in 2015. I am glad that she enjoyed such a close family. I have wonderful memories of New York and the time I had with Julie as a friend and guide.

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Jay And Anne Lewis published a tribute .

Julie was a treasure. Her professional life epitomized devotion to culture and history, its artifacts, their preservation, and education. She lived it ethically and truthfully for decades. Her encouragement of women in their workplaces was inspiring. She left a body of work and scores of friendships that will endure the test of time. And her love of family, so often changing and expanding, is a proud legacy. We were privileged to have known her: appreciating her many contributions and insights, and modeling what it was to be a good, caring, and loving person. She will rest in peace.

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Tony Pryor published a tribute .

For those of you who may have missed the obituaries for Julie, here they are:
New York Times -https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/nytimes/name/julie-jones-obituary?pid=199199105
Washington Post -https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/washingtonpost/name/julie-jones-obituary?id=6174520

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Annie Cloke published a tribute .

I was lucky to have met Julie when I was in high school and was fortunate to have been able to visit with her throughout the years. Her strong sense of self, complete presence when you were in conversation with her, and sense of humor always stuck with me. I never had the privilege of going to the Met or dining with her in Manhattan, but was always impressed by how much her--and Madeleine and Rebecca's--social lives in the city together were more active, intellectual and interesting than most. I will miss seeing her at Pryor family gatherings and will think of her when I go to the Met!

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Arthur Dunkelman published a tribute .

I share my recollections of Julie with pleasure & a touch of nostalgia. Julie was the first museum “professional” I had an opportunity to work with, at the Museum of “Primitive” Art. In 1969, I had the good fortune to meet Julie and Doug Newton and to design and install the media components for “Crocodile and Cassowary: Religious Art of the Upper Sepik River, New Guinea,” an exhibition of the last material that Michael Rockefeller sent home before disappearing in New Guinea. How that life-changing break came to me is a longish story …

Our lives moved on and we fell out of touch for many years until I was working at the Jay I. Kislak Foundation. I moved to Washington after a major gift to the Library of Congress and was “re-introduced” through the good graces of Joanne Pillsbury, then at Dumbarton Oaks. As a member of the foundation’s advisory board, Julie was stalwart in her (critical) support of our projects at the LoC and more recently at the University of Miami.

I enjoyed her company immensely and relished every opportunity to meet, chat, and enjoy a drink [or two]. Her knowledge seemed boundless as was her willingness to share generously.

Julie had a wicked sense of humor. She could spot a phony in an instant and, with the wink of an eye, would not hesitate to “gently” skewer.

I saw her last when she returned from Cuba nearly three years ago. We shared a wonderful dinner and attended a magical marionette performance by the brilliant Pablo Cano. Julie was charmed by his gentle artistry and intrigued with his inventive creations. https://youtu.be/gKfXV2tzf_s

Time runs in only one direction in our corner of the universe & so those calls & letters we were going to ... are nevermore to be.

From our first encounter until her recent passing, she remained a dear friend and mentor.

I hold her memory in my heart.

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Marie-Therese Brincard published a tribute .

I was fortunate to have met Julie Jones in the early ‘70s through Douglas Newton and again, a few years later, when I was a fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art . Although I was in the field of African art, Julie always kindly showed interest in the exhibitions I was working on. During my tenure at the American Federation of Arts, I relied on her knowledge and expertise for exhibitions on the art of the Americas that AFA would present and circulate to other institutions. Reserved, rigorous in her thinking, yet offering generous intellectual guidance when needed—these are qualities that I shall remember.

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Faith Pleasanton published a tribute .

I do not recall just when I first met Julie, probably in the '70s, when I was worked across from the MMA at Wittenborn Art Books and she was at the then "Museum of Primitive Art".
When I arrived at the Met many many years later in the late '90s, she was the first person I met in the adjoining corridors of the 20th C. Art (Modern) & AAOA Departments, I often took a short cut through her department via their library and she would often use our library...it was such fun to tease her by using the term" Primtive Art" (of course this was the name of her museum before its junction with the Met), I would state that if the terminology was good enough for Robert Goldwater, it was good for me and we would laugh over fond memories of Bob and Douglas Newton.
Julie was an integral part of many memories spanning our joint careers in the years before, during, and after the Met.,I remember her with great fondness.
Faith Pleasanton
Former Librarian, Modern Art Library, MMA

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John Kennedy published a tribute .

While I only knew Julie for a few months before her passing, I really did enjoy the time that we spent together. She was such an interesting person, and to me, the quintessential New Yorker. In my experience, there was no mincing of words with Julie; she told it like it was. She also had an amazing ability to navigate the labyrinth of lower Manhattan. I had worked in lower Manhattan for many years and thought that I knew my way around; that is, until I met Julie. On one occasion she led the way down side streets, alleys, driveways, and service entrances that I had never seen. I thought for sure that we were lost, but one more turn, and we were at the intersection of Fulton and Water Streets, just a couple of blocks from her apt. I joked with her that she had just given me a walking tour of lower Manhattan. I will miss working with her.

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Tony Pryor published a comment .

Thank you John! She relied on you to help sort out a variety of financial and other issues that were beginning to become difficult to manage. A great member of Team AJ (Team Aunt Julie), we all are in your debt. It took a lot of competence and trust to have Julie willingly allow a person to help her! Many, many thanks! Tony

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Susan Bergh published a tribute .

Julie helped introduce me to the museum field in the 1990s, and over the years she became a valued friend and mentor who could be relied on for level-headed advice and support. There was much about her to admire professionally, starting with her success in helping to put the Pre-Columbian world on the map in art museums. But what I remember best is more personal—she was modest, never letting the Met go to her head; she was a straight shooter, but kind; and I think she tried to help younger women in their professional efforts, especially early in their careers. That’s what she did for me, and I’ll be forever grateful for the head-start and opportunities she gave me, first as a Met dissertation fellow and then as a part-time assistant lending a hand on two exhibitions before departing on a full-time career. She wasn’t loose with compliments, and you remembered them when they came your way. She was famously private, never spilling many beans about her personal life, but warm, touchingly loyal, and quietly distinctive in expression and behavior. I miss her and regret that the pandemic prevented us from having one last catch-up over dinner at the little restaurant on the Upper East Side. Godspeed, Julie, and thanks.

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Tony Pryor published a tribute .

From Heidi King:

Dear Mr. Pryor,
Joanne sent me the very sad news of Julie's passing. I worked with Julie at the Met for over thirty years. In 1983 after I had received my MA in Precolumbian Art History from Columbia University, I volunteered one day a week in the Robert Goldwater Library in the Department of Primitive Art (as it was called at that time) at the Met. The head of the library, Alan Chapman, a long-time colleague and friend of Julie since MPA days, invited me to lunch with Julie who I had not met before. In the course of that lunch Julie asked me whether I would be interested to work one day a week in the department on cataloguing the Aztec stone sculptures in the collection. This one-day a week cataloguing project turned into a very rewarding, multi-facetted career as a Research Associate in the department which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Throughout the years Julie has been extremely generous towards me, fully respecting that I did not want to work full-time having two young children who I wanted to raise personally. She included me in countless diverse curatorial projects and entrusted me with exhibition and publication projects and was very encouraging and supportive of my work.

She was a great mentor and always very generous in sharing her profound knowledge of museum work and her expertise in Precolumbian art. I have the fondest memories of working with Julie at the Met, and I am forever grateful to her for what I have learned from her over the years, and for the opportunities she gave me to make a lasting contribution to the field of Precolumbian art. We saw each other frequently since Julie left the museum and I very much regret not having been able to see her or speak with her again before she left us. Like so many who knew Julie, I will miss her very much. Whenever I think of the Met I think of Julie.

In deep sympathy,
Heidi King

Art Historian, Pre-Columbian Art
Adjunct Professor, The Cooper Union, NY
Formerly, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Member, Institute of Andean Studies

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Rob Campbell published a tribute .

Julie has always been an important member of the Jones Family. We've been proud of our New York cousin who has accomplished so much. In 2015, the Jone family held a reunion in Salt Lake City to commemorate the life of our uncle, Grant L Jones, who was killed int he Second World War. Jule was brave enough to make the trek our to Utah from New York in the winter to be a part of our gathering. We took a family photo that included 61 Jones cousins and their descendants. We will always be grateful that Julie attended and that we were able to come to know her better.

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Katharine Baetjer published a tribute .

As Tony requested...
Several years ago I organized an occasional lunch for retired curatorial department heads and one or two others who still worked in the museum regularly. We enjoyed ourselves. Younger staff were amused to see in the staff cafeteria five or six people who represented more than 250 years of employment. We represented the departments of American art, Asian art, arms and armor, modern and contemporary, musical instruments and European paintings.
Earlier, and for longer, a small group edited The Met's scholarly publication or Journal. We asked Julie to join us (curators of Greek and Roman, European paintings, and European sculpture and decorative arts), because--obviously--we were singularly lacking in the breadth of knowledge she supplied. We met monthly and enjoyed each other's friendship in one of the most agreeable associations of my career.
Evidently she was fortunate in her family. Katharine

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Stacey Young published a tribute .

Tony & family: As I mentioned in a recent email: I'm so, so sorry about Julie. You were such a devoted brother, and she was so lucky to have you and your family in her life. I know you loved her, and I know this past year especially has been really tough for you. I'm sending love, comfort, encouragement. Admiration for all you did for your dear sister, and -- again, always -- admiration for how your family cohered to love her and care for her, over many years and especially this past one.
I'm so glad I got to see Julie again at your party. And especially glad that DE had that long conversation with her and pronounced her "astounding." I also think back to that time I came over to get advice before a job interview, and got some good advice also from Inia and from Julie. I have thought many times of how Julie made me feel in that moment: lighter and more confident. And just the quiet support from someone so accomplished helped me get right side up again. Over this past year, when I think of Julie, that's what I remember.
I'm so sorry you have this pain. If there's anything I can do to alleviate it, please tell me. I'm here for you and your family, Melvyn is too.

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Debra Nagao published a tribute .

Julie at Parque-Museo La Venta in Villahermosa.

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Tony Pryor published a comment .

Debra: Thanks so much for such wonderful photos! (And a reminder that we would love any others out there!!) When were these taken, roughly?

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Tom Bartelmo published a tribute .

Dear Tony and Family,

We are surprised and saddened to learn of Julie's passing. Her professional expertise and engaging personality will be missed by so many. Through the years, she was instrumental in guiding the Jay I. Kislak Foundation and the Kislak Family Foundation, and was a respected advisor, mentor and friend.

We hope you and your family are finding comfort in knowing she left her mark in myriad ways, and she lives in on in her works and in the relationships she forged.

With sincere condolences,

Paula Kislak, Phil Kislak, Tom Bartelmo, John Lombardi and everyone at the Kislak Family Foundation

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Debra Nagao published a tribute .

Julie and Olmec Altar 4 at Parque-Museo La Venta in Villahermosa.

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Dan Kershaw published a tribute .

Dear Tony, Madeleine, and Rebecca,

I was deeply saddened to hear the news about my friend Julie. She and I almost instantly became close friends when I started working at the Metropolitan Museum 32 years ago. We’ve travelled together, she introduced me to many of my now longtime friends, and she ceaselessly encouraged me, teased me, and traded tales. We share an enormous passion for the Olmec, but also for the people obsessed with pre-Columbian art.

A couple of weeks before she passed away she phoned me and said she wanted me to have a photo from her office of the two of us stacking enormous stone discs of the great column from El Tajin in our Mexico exhibition of 1990. I already have a digital copy, which I treasure, but now I’ve been inspired to put this image into the museum’s online database.

Please accept my sincere thanks for making sure Julie was comfortable as possible, and surrounded by her loving family. I wish I could have been there to give her a hug, but know I was there in spirit.

With appreciation,
Dan Kershaw

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Tony A Pryor published a comment .

Very touching, Dan. She loved her Met buddies and always talked about her trips in particular. Many thanks for sharing - Tony

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John Buchanan published a tribute .

I worked with many fine people at the Museum but Julie was one of my few special colleagues. We worked at the Hermitage on the Pre-Columbian Gold exhibition and socialized with Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis, who was in Russia to save the Russian Costume exhibition. We worked and traveled together in Mexico on that huge, complex exhibition, including a ride Julie booked on a bus from Vera Cruz to Mexico City along with farmers going to market with chickens, piglets and other assorted farm animals. Great fun! Tensions can rise when moving art around the world, mounting and taking down exhibitions. That was never the case with Julie. It was a pleasure and privilege to know and work with her.

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Tony Pryor published a comment .

Thank you John for your note. Very much appreciated. Julie mentioned you a number of times, and the feeling was mutual. Best regards - Tony

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