Vulcan is hiring a

Director, Art Collection

Seattle, United States

Vulcan Inc. is a nimble private company based in Seattle, Washington working to solve some of the biggest global issues. The projects and investments we pursue are inspired by the ideas of our founder Paul G. Allen and tethered to a simple principle; we use data to inform our efforts and seek out opportunities that can make a positive impact—and share what we learn.

Vulcan supports innovative approaches that can save endangered species, address climate change, improve ocean health, explore new frontiers, research how the human brain works and build sustainable communities. Brain science and basketball, community space and outer space, art and artificial intelligence—at Vulcan, we strive to answer big questions asked by our founder, and by the world. If we can understand the mysterious organ, the brain, we can pave the way towards understanding diseases like Alzheimer’s. If we can change the economics of space launches, we can change space travel and exploration. If we can get the formula right for a new kind of downtown neighborhood, it becomes a guide for the innovation centers of tomorrow.

With a local focus and a global reach, Vulcan’s programs, projects and initiatives bring together industry leaders collaborating across disciplines to discover and develop smart, data-driven solutions and create inspiring experiences that help us tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges.

The Director, Art Collection oversees all aspects and activities of the Paul Allen Family Collection of art and artifacts and Vulcan corporate collection. Provides advisory support for the affiliate collections. Provides strategic leadership and strong management in support of the professional staff responsible for collection research and development, curatorial, and collections management, including: shipping, storage, preservation, conservation, cataloguing, and installation.  Oversees the maintenance of art and artifact collection management systems, and recommends and implements improvements, evaluating systems and procedures for efficiency. Consults on acquisition and deaccession activities; develops and delivers status reports and recommendations to collection owners.  Supports artwork installation and rotation planning, outgoing loans and touring exhibition initiatives.  Provides reports and analysis of art, artifact collections, and auction activities to the Owners and advises on development and management of vendor contracts and purchases. 


  • Provide strategic leadership to the Art Group, collectively relying on individual expertise in each of the respective disciplines such as curatorial, registration, conservation, etc. to inform broader decision making and goal setting.
  • Through open communication and efficient decision making, assist team members with establishing short and long term priorities.
  • Prepare and monitor annual plan for the Art Group, including reporting out against quarterly objectives and milestones.
  • Provides oversight and guidance to the project manager for projects affecting the collections.
  • Demonstrates effective staff development and organizational skills in areas such as hiring, coaching, collaboration, problem solving and goal setting. Empowers staff to think, act and plan in a collaborative manner.
  • Develop a good sense of roles and talent on the team and help clarify roles where needed to synthesize the team towards efficiencies.
  • Oversee acquisitions and deaccession activities including provenance research, market valuation, art historical significance and development of recommendations for purchases; maintain relationships with leadership of auction houses and commercial galleries.
  • Provide overall responsibility and guidance for the development and implementation of plans for the ongoing fiscal control and improvements related to the Art Group, including current and long-term costs for interpretation, storage, care, exhibition, security, and placement.
  • Oversee the Sr. Curator to ensure curatorial activities for the development of the collection follows procedures and goals and property projects are proceeding at pace.
  • Oversee the Chief Registrar to ensure collection management activities are efficiently executed following appropriate protocols including:  object movement, shipping, logistics, cataloguing, inventory, database management, conservation, security, loans and storage.
  • Oversee the preparation and monitoring of the Art Group’s budgets.
  • Approve and ensure the Art Group’s procedures and guidelines, as appropriate, in consultation with the Chief Registrar, Sr. Curator, Vulcan Finance, Legal, Tax, and Technology departments.
  • Oversee Sr. Art Market Acquisitions Analyst, in the development and analysis of the value, marketability, gains, losses, and risks associated with the art and artifact collections.
  • Oversee and represent collections-related interests and projects to the appropriate Personal Services teams.
  • Provide leadership in the growth of the annual Seattle Art Fair; manage relationships with sponsorship partners and oversee VIP and curatorial programs.
  • Management responsibilities include, but are not limited to interviewing, hiring, and training employees; coaching; mentoring; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; managing performance; addressing complaints and resolving problems.
  • Manage performance of art group staff, including performance appraisals and ongoing assessments and feedback.
  • Demonstrate honesty, responsibility, integrity and fulfillment of commitments


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Knowledge, experience, skill, and/or ability


  • Advanced, broad art knowledge or cultural artifact history.
  • Advanced knowledge of and experience with care, storage, display, and retrieval of art and artifact collections.
  • A respectful, cooperative leader who is skilled at navigating a flat organization.
  • Ability to foster the collaborative working environment needed for successful team oriented projects.
  • Experience cultivating business relationships with galleries, auction houses, art-related entities, and cultural partners (e.g., SAM, Henry Art Gallery, Tacoma Art Museum).
  • Strong managerial skills as evidenced by extensive experience in personnel, budget, and facilities management.
  • Proven ability to anticipate, identify and respond to changing business priorities and needs while building and maintaining a strong sense of community among employees.
  • Demonstrated success managing and overseeing complex multi-million dollar projects.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to communicate effectively at all levels of the organization.

Management Responsibilities:

  • Recruits, supervises, and manages performance of personnel, providing direction, leadership, and setting goals with each direct report for long-range plans, policies, documents all procedures and budgets as appropriate.
  • Establishes a work environment that allows for open communication, professional growth, and retention of committed professional staff
  • Directly manages one or more employees. Carries out responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

Required computer skills  

  • MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook)

Preferred computer skills

  •  TMS Database


  • Master’s degree (M.A., M.S., M.B.A., M.F.A.) in art or cultural history, museum management, etc. and 12-plus year’s relevant experience. OR, equivalent years’ work experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

 Special remarks regarding work environment, if applicable  

  • Travel estimated to be 25%

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