Professor Winkes, the co-founder of the former Center for Old World Archaeology and Art (which preceded the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World), is best known as a specialist in Roman portraiture, but he has also published and is interested in a range of other media and subjects from the Greek Archaic period to the rise of Christianity. He has excavated on the Greek island of Corfu for a dozen years.
In recent years he has been excavating at the site of Tongobriga, a Roman town in the north of Portugal. This project will end with a study season in 2009.
His research interests are also reflected through his role as mentor for dissertations and theses. These have been on such subjects as: Roman Portraiture, Painting and Architecture, Jewelry, Gems and Cameos, Hellenistic sculpture, Late Roman mosaics and Classical tradition. Several international collaborations were initiated by Professor Winkes at the former Center: An exchange with the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil, an exchange of senior scholars with the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. The Corfu excavation was in collaboration with the Greek Archaeological Service and the Université de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. The Tongobriga excav ation is a collaboration with a branch of the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, the Instituto de Gestão do Património Arquitectónico e Arqueológico (IGESPAR).
Museum work has always been a part of his career. In the beginning he was a visiting curator from Brown at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design which resulted in his catalogue on Roman Paintings and Mosaics (Providence, 1982). He directed three exhibitions that were part of the graduate program in the History of Art: The Classical Spirit in American Portraiture, Gold Jewelry, and Portraits and Propaganda. Working together with the late Prof. Hackens from Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium, two of the exhibitions became international projects. For these he received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Over the years, he has also been interested in publishing artifacts (paintings, jewelry and bronzes) that had been housed since the beginning of the 20th century in the storage of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
Recently, Professor Winkes has begun a new research project on the representation of birds in Roman imperial art. He retired from the faculty in the summer of 2007 and was appointed as Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology, History of Art and Architecture and Old World Archaeology and Art.