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Lynn Goldsmith

The Inner Voice

Photo of Prince, wearing an ornate yellow jacket and holding a guitar in front of n orange background

Thursday, November 16, 2023
5:30 pm


In-person Event

Michigan Theater
603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Penny Stamps Speaker Series
Open to the public
Free of charge
Watch Video

Over the past 50 years, Lynn Goldsmith has been an inventor, a filmmaker, a director for network television, a co-manager of a rock band, a songwriter and recording artist, a business owner, a crusader for copyright protection, and consistently, through it all, a photographer.

Lynn Goldsmith’s photographic images are in numerous museum collections, including The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Photography, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Museum Folkwang, The Polaroid Collection, and The Kodak Collection. Her work over the past 50 years in the editorial world has appeared on and between the covers of publications including Life, Newsweek, Time, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, National Geographic Traveler, Sports Illustrated, People, Elle, Interview, The New Yorker. The subjects have varied from entertainment personalities to sports stars, from film directors to authors, from the extraordinary to the ordinary man on the street. Winning numerous prestigious awards from the Lucien Clergue to the World Press in Portraiture, to the Lucie for Portraiture in 2020. She was included in Chronicle Book’s publication 200 Women Who Will Change the Way You See the World.

Goldsmith was the founder of the first photo agency to focus on celebrity portraiture, representing the work of over two hundred worldwide photographers. Part of founding the agency was to make more photographers aware of the importance of copyright. For the past four years, she has been fighting a legal battle with the Warhol Foundation, which is based on making sure that the copyright law does not become so diluted by the definition of fair use that visual artists lose the rights to their work. 

By the early 80’s, Goldsmith expanded her creativity to become the first optic-music’ artist. Using the alias Will Powers, she wrote and produced the album Dancing For Mental Health released on Island Records. Working with acclaimed musicians Sting, Steve Winwood, Todd Rundgren, and Nile Rodgers, her debut album won critical acclaim and the single, Kissing With Confidence,” reached #3 on the British charts. The roots of her music came from the experience of being in a band, The Walking Wounded, while attending the University of Michigan where she graduated in 3 years Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in both English and Psychology.

Lynn Goldsmith’s talk will focus on the music of the 1980’s. Her latest book explores the 1980’s, a decade where more new forms of music and fashion were all popular simultaneously. It was also the decade in which Goldsmith made the album Dancing For Mental Health, which delivers the message she puts into all her work: break limiting thought patterns, bust through fear, take risks, and persistently work hard toward your goals.

Presented in partnership with the Institute for the Humanities with support from the Arts & Resistance LSA Theme Semester. This project was made possible by a grant from the Arts Initiative at the University of Michigan.

Series presenting partners: Detroit Public Television and PBS Books. Media partner: Michigan Radio.


Content Notice

In accordance with the University of Michigan’s Standard Practice Guidelines on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series does not censor our speakers or their content. The content provided is intended for adult audiences and does not reflect the views of the University of Michigan or Detroit Public Television.