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.
Dr. Decker 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 and Contested Memorials is due out from Routledge in 2023.
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.
At RIT, Dr. Decker is co-PI with Dr. David Messinger (Imaging Science, RIT) on an National Endowment for the Humanities PR-268783-20 (2020-2023) that has created, tested, and iterated a low-cost spectral imaging system and software to recover obscured and illegible text on historical documents. This multi-year, interdisciplinary project enhances the work of library, archive, and museum professionals and is only one of the many experiential learning opportunities undertaken by RIT museum studies students under the guidance of faculty from RIT.
In the News
February 27, 2023
Interdisciplinary team heads to Ethics in Engineering Case Competition
An interdisciplinary pair of RIT students is headed to Bethesda, Md., to participate in the 2023 Lockheed Martin Ethics in Engineering Case Competition. Emma Nastro, a third-year museum studies student, and Lee Sortore, a fifth-year mechanical engineering student, will represent RIT at the competition, which is held Feb. 27 through March 1 at the Lockheed Martin Center for Leadership Excellence. This is the first time an RIT team has competed in this competition.
August 24, 2022
RIT scientists develop spectral imaging techniques to help museums with conservation efforts
Scientists from RIT are turning studio photography technology on its head to help museums and other cultural heritage institutions preserve historically significant artifacts.
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.