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
May 24, 2022
‘Clarissa Uprooted’ exhibit coming to City Art Space
Starting on June 3, the exhibit “Clarissa Uprooted: Unearthing Stories of Our Village (1940s-early 1970s)” will open in the RIT City Art Space. This show, created through a partnership between the Center for Teen Empowerment in Rochester and the Clarissa Street Reunion Committee, has involved a number of collaborators including RIT faculty and students from the College of Art and Design and the College of Liberal Arts.
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.
April 4, 2022
Award Established to Honor Professor Tina Lent, founding director of Museum Studies Program
The Tina Lent Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Museum Studies was given on Friday, March 18, 2022 as part of the College’s 42nd Annual Writing Awards Ceremony. The award followed in the tradition of awards named in honor of other College of Liberal Arts faculty, including Stan McKenzie and Mary C. Sullivan, both esteemed former deans of the College of Liberal Arts. The inaugural recipient was Hannah Rachel Riley, a third-year student from Buffalo, NY who is undertaking her thesis this semester and will graduate in May 2022.
January 25, 2022
Decker awarded fellowship for book research
August 6, 2019
'Crafting Democracy' fights fire with fiber
July 17, 2019
Using yarn installation to create a thread to Rochester's social activism past
Providing Discoverability and Accessibility of Historical Documents to Museums and Libraries
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...