Curatorial Seattle, Washington


Position at Vulcan

Seattle-based Vulcan Inc. is looking for a Preparator in our Art Collections Department

Are you….

… a seasoned Preparator looking to contribute your expertise to an organization that is tackling some of the world’s hardest problems?

Nice to meet you, we’re Vulcan.

Vulcan was founded in 1986 by Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen with a mission to make and leave the world a better place. We work with partners to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges facing oceans, climate, conservation, and communities. Whether global or local, our work for good is financed by our thoughtful investing and innovative development.

Vulcan believes in recognizing and celebrating all voices, and we're on a mission to weave diversity, equity, and inclusion into the fabric of everything we do. This includes a DEI Council that sponsors an ongoing learning series on timely topics related to equity and inclusion for all employees and our three Employee Resource Groups that also lead programming and community-building efforts for LGBTQ+, Womxn, and BIPOC employees. We are actively investigating and applying best practices in equity and inclusion to our recruiting, hiring, retention and benefits programs. 

From healthy-living perks to company-matched employee-giving events, and even our own lending library, Vulcan has a truly unique workplace culture. Our employees contribute to programs that help make and leave the world a better place, but also have access to experiences and benefits that make coming to work meaningful and fun.

About the position:

The Preparator position provides expert support with art handling, oversight, and collecting data relating to the art collections and ensures that these actions are safely and accurately performed. Participates in the safe handling, transporting, packing, crating, storage and installing of artworks. The Preparator position requires knowledge of proper art handling, installation, packing and crating methods, maintenance, rigging and care of 2-D and 3-D art.  Working closely with the Sr. Preparator and Storage Registrar, this position assists with the day-to-day art storage activities including receiving, handling, storage, cleaning and maintenance.

As a member of our team you will:

  • Assist with day-to-day art storage activities including: receiving, handling, storage, cleaning and maintenance, packing, rehousing.
  • Assist with art installations and deinstallations at property locations both domestically and internationally. Assist Sr. Preparator with fine art packing and crating in accordance with current industry standards set forth by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and PACCIN; assist with overseeing the full documentation and tracking of all packing materials in storage and at storage locations in the U.S. and abroad. Assist with procuring and maintaining all tools, packing materials, and other art handling supplies as needed.
  • Assist with alarm replacement schedule in conjunction with periodic condition surveys as scheduled by the registrars as needed.
  • Assist the Registrars with reproduction photography. Assist the photographer in all aspects of the shoot and manage the location to ensure the proper handling of artworks.
  • Assist with coordinating local installations and deinstallations, works with and assists with overseeing additional contract art handlers and fine art transportation as directed, and tracks moves accordingly for the TMS database system.
  • Assist the Registrars with cataloguing artworks as directed.
  • Maintain paper and electronic files that provide additional required documentation of the collections, such as move forms, incident reports, location updates and other collections-related documentation as requested. Assist with tracking all crates and/or packing materials and will keep accurate records of the manner in which incoming and outgoing artworks are packed.
  • Assist the Registrars with condition reports as needed.
  • Together with the Sr. Preparator and the Registrars, ensure the proper security of each item, whether on display or in storage.
  • Assist with freezing, anoxic, and odor mitigation treatments in storage as needed.
  • Make recommendations for proper lighting conditions and framing materials (e.g. ultraviolet filtering Plexiglas.). Light artworks as needed.
  • Keep abreast with development in the field relating to proper and safe handling, packing and display of art works.
  • Assist and perform weekly spot cleaning and quarterly deep cleaning of artworks as assigned.
  • Special projects as assigned.
  • Demonstrate honesty, responsibility, integrity and fulfillment of commitments

Required skills and experience:

  • Knowledge of current museum professional standards and best practices for preparation,, including occupational hazards and safety precautions. Strong technical skills in basic construction, fabrication, matting, framing, and installation methods; also proper use and care of power and manual tools, lifts, and other pertinent equipment. Must be able to drive a 15-foot box truck, fork lift, order picker, and Wave lift.
  • Must be familiar with all current industry standards set forth by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and PACCIN for installation and deinstallation of fine art works with the ability to use the appropriate manual and power tools, lifts, rigging devices according to industry standard handling protocols.
  • Knowledge of and experience with a variety of fine art and other artifact materials and processes, video and audio equipment, computers, lighting methods, basic museum conservation standards, and extensive handling methods.
  • Heavy lifting, climbing, strenuous physical activity, and standing for prolonged periods of time are required of this position.
  • Must be able to multi-task and take direction.
  • Rigorous attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Candidate must be able to work on multiple projects simultaneously in a deadline-driven environment, exercising great care in handling objects while adhering to schedule.
  • Strong interpersonal, planning, and organizational skills.
  • Availability to travel, occasionally with short notice
  • Must possess high levels of tact and diplomacy and maintain high levels of confidentiality
  • Ability to work independently, set priorities, meet deadlines, and coordinate multiple projects simultaneously
  • Ability to be flexible, communicative, and work collaboratively in a team environment


Preferred skills and experience:

  • Some knowledge of computerized database systems, preferably TMS (The Museum System)
  • Clean driving record and reliable transportation method.
  • Photography experience
  • Courier experience
  • Emergency preparedness experience

Required computer skills  

  • Microsoft Office Suite


Bachelor’s degree (B.A. or B.S.) from an accredited institution in art history, museum studies, art management or related field and five (5) plus years relevant experience in art handling, fabrication, installation, and preparatory experience with an accredited museum, major fine art handling company or fine art gallery OR, relevant­­­ Vocational/Certificate coursework and equivalent years work experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Special remarks regarding work environment, if applicable  

  • Safety conscious; ability to lift (50 lbs.), push, pull and carry objects; climb stairs and ladders.
  • This position may be asked to be on-call on an as-needed basis, occasionally after hours or on weekends.
  • Travel estimated to be approximately three (3) times per year either domestic or abroad.

While performing the duties of this job the employee is regularly required to stand; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; talk or hear and smell. The employee is frequently required to walk and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee is occasionally required to sit and climb or balance. The employee is regularly required to move up to 50 pounds with assistance.

The vision requirements include: ability to adjust focus, depth perception, peripheral vision, distance vision and close vision and to be able to otherwise perform the essential functions of the job in a manner that does not present danger to the employee or others with or without a reasonable accommodation.

We’re committed to inclusion and equal opportunity.

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

Vulcan Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. Every qualified applicant will be considered for employment. We do not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, parental status, national origin, age, disability (physical or mental), family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service, or other protected class.

If you need accommodation during the application or hiring process, please contact Human Resources at or your recruiter.