Prince exhibit opens at Mall of America, but don't bring camera
BLOOMINGTON, Minn.--It may seem small, but like the man it honors, "Prince: The Artist, The Icon, The Legend" packs a mighty punch. Housed at the Mall of America, on the third floor's east wing, the temporary exhibit features a selection of piece...
BLOOMINGTON, Minn.-It may seem small, but like the man it honors, "Prince: The Artist, The Icon, The Legend" packs a mighty punch.
Housed at the Mall of America, on the third floor's east wing, the temporary exhibit features a selection of pieces from the late Minnesota musician's archives, ranging from awards to costumes to scripts from his films. One of the most eye-catching items is the blue suit he wore in the "Raspberry Beret" video, complete with hand-painted white clouds cascading across it. Not to belabor the point, but one of the most striking things about it is just how tiny it really is.
Several such flashy mementos will please the casual visitor, including Prince's jacket and guitar from his 2007 Super Bowl halftime performance and an oversized plush purple chair from Paisley Park. It's begging to serve as a photo op for visitors who want to take a piece of Prince with them, which leads to the exhibit's one big problem.
Photography is not allowed in the space, which is open through Nov. 14. The staff is laser-focused on following that policy, to an unpleasant extent.
Scowling employees are stationed throughout the space, eager to bark at anyone even reaching for their mobile device.
Such measures are understandable at Paisley Park. Prince famously banned photography there during his lifetime, and it's in the best financial interests of the space to keep some mystery to it so it can continue to attract paying customers. But "The Artist, The Icon, The Legend" is a mall storefront, nestled among dining options and practically begging for mass traffic, from Prince superfans to random tourists eager to sample Minnesota's own musical genius.
While the current exhibit may feel modest, it's full of some real gems, like early storyboards from "Purple Rain" and old-school Mead notebooks Prince filled with his notes.
Staff could also use the space to run shuttles for fans eager to tour Paisley Park. Public tours of Prince's residence and recording studio will resume Friday, after the Chanhassen City Council approved a rezoning request Monday.
There's plenty of parking at the mall and given its central location, even locals might prefer the convenience rather than driving all the way out to Chanhassen. And talk about a perfect way to spend a few hours for those with a long layover at the nearby airport.
Plus, there is a demand for Prince memorabilia. People want to buy Prince T-shirts, souvenirs and albums. Right now, the space has a small selection of items for sale, including tambourines, tote bags and a knit skull cap emblazoned with the Paisley Park logo.