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MoPop celebrates the Purple One with 'Prince from Minneapolis' exhibit

Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture will have a new exhibit on display starting April 6 called "Prince from Minneapolis." The exhibit is about two things: image and inspiration.

The first few photos on display were taken when Prince was only 19 years old, just after signing his first record deal. It's clear he was trying to create his iconic look.

Many of the pieces in the show are on loan from the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, but MoPop did add a few items to the exhibit. Among them is a cash register from the First Avenue club in Minneapolis, where Prince played and filmed the 1984 rock musical drama "Purple Rain." Brooks Peck, MoPop senior curator, says the pieces were meant to supplement the Weisman collection.

A close-up of a Prince contact sheet on display in MoPop's new exhibit, on display until January 2020.
Credit Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX
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KNKX
A close-up of a Prince contact sheet on display in MoPop's new exhibit, on display until January 2020.

"I firmly say you can never have enough Prince in your life, really," he said. 

The exhibit includes costumes the late musician wore in the movie "Purple Rain," items of clothes he would wear during tours and instruments he played, including a guitar built by Andy Beech, who now calls Bellingham home. 

The other part of the exhibit includes works by artists who were inspired by the Purple One. Seattle-based artist Troy Gua uses art doll recreations of the megastar in different settings. 

A work by Troy Gua in MoPop's newest exhibit featuring Prince.
Credit Courtesy of Troy Gua
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A work by Troy Gua in MoPop's newest exhibit featuring Prince.

Peck says he's looking forward to sharing the exhibit with the public. 

"You know, I'm an 80s kids. I'm a Purple Rain kid, for sure," he said. "Prince and his art are so about what MoPop is about now. He was an iconoclast, he wanted to break boundaries, he created a new sound. So he's the perfect artist for us to look at." 

The exhibit is on display through January 2020. 

Ariel first entered a public radio newsroom in 2004 while in school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. It was love at first sight. After graduating from Bradley, she went on to earn a Master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Ariel has lived in Indiana, Ohio and Alaska reporting on everything from salmon spawning to policy issues concerning education. She's been a host, a manager and now rides shotgun with Kirsten Kendrick as the Morning Edition producer at KNKX.
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