Prince from Minneapolis examines an icon's image and his influence on other artists and fans.
From the very beginning of his career, Prince worked to create a unique and dynamic professional image. He reached out to photographers in Minneapolis to construct and disseminate what is now his legendarily theatrical image and identity. Four of those photographers—Allen Beaulieu, Nancy Bundt, Terry Gydesen, and Robert Whitman—are showcased in this exhibition. With nearly 50 artifacts, including 25 photos of Prince, 15 Prince-inspired artworks, a Prince guitar, and 2 outfits from the film Purple Rain, this comprehensive gallery allows guests to experience Prince’s unrivaled artistry at key moments in his career.
Nancy Bundt’s official Purple Rain concert shots show the artist in the zenith-like moment of that tour. Allen Beaulieu’s early pictures on stage and off provide a glimpse of the star before his best-known image was fully formed. Terry Gydesen’s pictures in the studio and on his 1993 world tour offer both unscripted moments and stunningly posed portraits. Robert Whitman’s iconic pre-fame portraits (including the renowned shot in front of the locally famous “music wall” of Schmitt Music in downtown Minneapolis) show Prince as a young man trying on his emerging stardom. Over the course of Prince’s phenomenal career, an astounding and diverse fan base grew up around him. Many of those fans are visual artists who have been inspired by, referenced, or honored Prince in their work.
From Minneapolis to Seattle, San Diego, and New York City, and from mural painting to seed art, glass, and a custom bicycle, the art in this exhibition showcases examples of this inspiration and demonstrates the broad geographical and cultural reach of the artist known as Prince.