BA, Wittenberg University; MA, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign; Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University
Dr. Juilee Decker (she/her) is a faculty member in the Department of History and Director of the Museum Studies program in the College of Liberal Arts.
Trained as an art historian, Dr. Decker's research and scholarship are at the intersection of museum studies, public history, and public art. She is an author, scholar, facilitator, and collaborator in the academy as well as in cultural institutions and communities. Since 2008, she has served as editor of Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals, a peer-reviewed journal published by SAGE. In 2015, she edited the four-volume series Innovative Approaches for Museums which brought together research and practices in the areas of engagement, access, technology, collections care and stewardship, as well as fundraising and strategic planning. In 2017, she revised Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums, a cornerstone publication in museum studies. Her 4th edition of the book is forthcoming in 2023. Her edited volume Fallen Monuments, Contested Memorials is due out from Routledge in 2022.
Beyond the work described above, Dr. Decker's research excavates histories and functions of museums and memorials as part of the process of understanding and critiquing constructions of knowledge and public memory in the U.S. Her monograph Enid Yandell: Kentucky's Pioneer Sculptor was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 2019. She is currently working on two projects related to monuments, memorials, and memory—which is also an area of her teaching (HIST 322, offered in the spring).
Dr. Decker has curated/co-curated numerous exhibitions focusing on art, material culture, and public history and has served as a consultant to public art projects and programs in the U.S. The exhibition Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts & Activism (co-curated with Hinda Mandell) debuted in Rochester in June 2019 and traveled to venues in New York, Ohio, and Virginia through 2020.
Dr. Decker has served on the Board of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House and is a juror for the Education Committee of the American Alliance of Museums. She earned her Ph.D. in 2003 from the joint program in Art History and Museum Studies at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Prior to joining the faculty of RIT in 2014, Dr. Decker taught at Georgetown College.
In the News
June 27, 2022
Museums and libraries nationwide leveraging low-cost spectral imaging systems built by RIT
Libraries and museums across the country have begun recapturing lost and obscured text on historically significant documents thanks to low-cost spectral imaging systems developed by faculty and students at RIT.
June 3, 2022
'Clarissa Uprooted' exhibit opens at RIT gallery space in downtown Rochester
The Democrat and Chronicle talks to John Aasp, gallery director, and Juilee Decker, professor in the Department of History, about the “Clarissa Uprooted: Unearthing Stories of Our Village (1940s-early 1970s),” exhibit at City Art Space.
May 9, 2022
Protectors of a diverse history
The field of museum studies is changing. Not only are the people working in nationwide cultural institutions becoming more diverse, but the narratives told within those institutions are more inclusive and equity-focused. RIT’s museum studies program, led by Program Director Juilee Decker, aims to accelerate this momentum.