An early glimpse of genius: “Prince: Before the Rain” Exhibit opens Sept. 21

Courtesy of MN History Center The smokey mystique of Prince’s “1999” era

Before Prince initiated Apollonia in the waters of Lake Minnetonka and the megastardom that ensued following the “Purple Rain” phenomenon, the artist had built a reputation and following as one of the most daring and genre-bending artists on the planet.

As Prince’s personal photographer and friend, Allen Beaulieu had early access to Prince that few photographers have had, before or since. The new exhibit “Prince: Before the Rain” at the Minnesota History Center features his images of the late icon from the late 1970s into the early 1980s charting his rise to superstardom.

Based on Beaulieu’s photography book of the same name, the exhibit includes 50 digital prints, including the album covers of “Dirty Mind,” “Controversy,” and “1999,” promotional photos of Prince and The Time and more.

This event and the upcoming Prince Panel Discussion with Allen Beaulieu, Dez Dickerson & Kevin Cole, also at the MN History Center, are being offered in conjunction with the exhibit “First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota’s Mainroom.”

Admission to the event is included with $6-12 museum admission. Museum admission is free on Tuesdays from  3-8 pm.

For more info, visit http://www.mnhs.org/event/7567