In honor of his many accomplishments, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University is proud to bestow its 2013 Honorary Doctor of Arts degree on Murray Tinkelman, illustrator, art educator and founder of Hartford University’s Low Residency Master of Fine Arts in Illustration Program.
Murray Tinkelman professes that he had three things going against him in his choice of careers. “I couldn’t draw, I couldn’t paint and I was color-blind.” Tinkelman has nevertheless become an award-winning illustrator, a famed illustration historian, and a much-celebrated educator.
His career began to take shape when he earned a coveted position with the Charles E. Cooper Studio. While there, Tinkelman worked alongside illustration greats, creating illustrations for the New York Times, The Ladies’ Home Journal, American Heritage, Boys Life, and for publishers such as Ballantine, Berkley, Doubleday, Macmillan, and Time Life. He also illustrated advertisements, op-ed pieces, children’s books, and book covers, including covers for numerous Zane Grey and H.P. Lovecraft works.
Tinkelman’s work has garnered him gold medals from the Society of Illustrators, the New York Directors Club, and the Society of Publication Designers. He was selected Artist of the Year by the Graphic Arts Guild in New York City (1970), and was honored as the Sports Artist of the Year by the United States Sports Academy (1995). Tinkelman’s work can be found in many permanent museum collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Norman Rockwell Museum.
Despite Tinkelman’s well-earned success and notoriety as an illustrator, it is as an educator that his skill and personality shines most brightly.
Obtaining a teaching position at the Parsons School of Design in 1963, Tinkelman quickly discovered the magic of “identifying with twenty different people and trying to see the world through their eyes and then watching them flourish.” In 1979, Tinkelman accepted a position with Syracuse University, teaching illustration and serving as the Senior Advisor of the independent study Master of Arts in Illustration Program. In 2006 Tinkelman founded the Low Residency Master of Fine Arts in Illustration Program at Hartford University. His efforts there have quickly borne fruit, as graduates enjoy unparalleled success and have become the new vanguard in illustration education.
Tinkelman’s dedication to educating illustrators earned him the 2001 Syracuse Faculty Service Citation, as well as the inaugural Distinguished Educator in the Arts award from the Society of Illustrators in 1999. He will be inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in June 2013.