Joseph Golinken studied at The Art Institute of Chicago and entered the U.S. Navy upon graduation. He served in World War I and remained in the Navy until 1922 when he resigned to pursue his career as an artist.
Golinken then relocated to New York where he studied with and befriended George Luks at The Art Students League. Golinken was represented in New York by Macbeth, Feragil, and Van Der Straeten.
He was the subject of one man shows and his works are contained in the Metropolitan Museum of Art , NY, The New York Public Library, The museum of the City of New York and The art Institute of Chicago. Two themes characterized his work, New York City and Sports. Sporting events he depicted included Baseball, Bicycle Racing, Bowling, Boxing, Football, Hockey, Horse Racing, Polo, Golf, Tennis, Track, and Wrestling.
He was reactivated by The U.S. Navy in 1938 and served with distinction in World War II, retiring in 1958.