Medieval Art and Architecture / Home Schooling
Tinkler’s passion is roaming around ancient buildings and sculptures looking for inscriptions. His work looks for the intersections between architectural images and words, particularly the inscriptions that appeared on medieval buildings and in association with medieval art.
“I enjoy my work so much because art is beautiful in and of itself,” says Tinkler, “but I also study the political and religious ideology expressed in both the art and the written text associated with the art.” His specialty is the Carolingian Period (eighth and ninth century) in northern France and Italy. He recently spent a semester abroad with Hobart and William Smith students in Rome, Italy.
He has recently expanded his study to involve the art and architecture of Islam as a teaching filed. As he said in The NITLE News, the Journal of the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education,“It is not at all uncommon for art historians at liberal arts colleges who teach medieval studies to teach a course on Islamic art and architecture (as I do) as our ‘outside field’…because the medieval west and part of the Islamic world are both heirs to the arts and architecture of Greco-Roman Mediterranean civilization.”
Tinkler brings his work into the future not only in the classroom but by working as a consultant with church remodeling firms who want to make the best use of art and text in their architecture. He can speak on architecture, both past and present, and can ably discuss the history of architecture.
Through his background in the classics, Latin in particular, Tinkler has been drawn into home schooling. Often he is recruited to teach home-schooled children in Latin or other classics subjects to enhance the work being done by the home schooler. Interested in educational experiments and experiences of all kinds, Tinkler has become extremely tolerant of home schooling. He believes that in many ways home schooled students are better prepared academically, better behaved, and not lacking in the socialization that is sometimes considered to be a flaw in this type of education. “The home schoolers are very well networked to share resources in areas like drama, foreign languages, and so on,” said Tinkler. “They are rarely lacking for the socialization elements they desire.”
"Text and Image: Teaching the Art of the Apocalypse," in Teaching the Book of the Apocalypse, ed. Tina Pippin (Scholars Press, Atlanta, forthcoming)
Interview opportunities and additional background information may be requested through the Office of Communications, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York. Phone: (315) 781-3540. After business hours, Communications staff members are accessible through contact information on their answering machine at that number.
Michael Tinkler studied the classics as an undergraduate at Rice University, and earned his Ph.D. in he interdisciplinary Institute of Liberal Arts at Emory University. For eight years he taught high school Latin and at various times taught adult education and home schooling courses in Latin, art and architectural history.
At Hobart and William Smith Tinkler since 1999, he teaches courses in Greek, Roman, Medieval and Islamic art, including courses on Women and Medieval Art and Pilgrimage in Medieval Art.
Originally from Chattanooga, Tenn., Tinkler has discovered that he can enjoy upstate New York winters by participating in winter sports activities like ice skating and downhill and cross country skiing.