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 technology.
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 2024.
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.
Her edited volume Fallen Monuments and Contested Memorials was published by Routledge in 2023.
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
April 25, 2023
SHED and Wallace Library classrooms offer new teaching and learning experience
When the Student Hall for Exploration and Development (SHED) opens in the fall, the multi-use facility will create an entirely new learning environment for RIT faculty and students alike.
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.
February 1, 2023
Finding a future profession
Fourth-year student Anna Pasquantonio has always loved National Geographic and has fond memories of collecting animal trading cards from the National Geographic Kids magazine. Pasquantonio’s summer 2022 internship experience at the organization’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., helped turn a life-long interest into a possible career.
July 21, 2023
Museum studies student presents at conference in Norway
July 21, 2023
Decker, Messinger present on multispectral imaging project
January 13, 2023
Team demos multispectral imaging system
July 21, 2022
COLA faculty, students, alumni attend ‘Let’s Talk about Race’
Providing Discoverability and Accessibility of Historical Documents to Museums and Libraries
Juilee Decker, Steven Galbraith
Students in the Museum Studies degree program are working alongside research scientists from the College of Science Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science to create, test, and iterate a low...