Our main objective in Minneapolis was to see Paisley Park. This is where Prince lived for the past three years of his life. However, our tour was not until after lunch so we went to the Walker Art Center, which includes a sculpture garden. We walked around the garden first and I enjoyed the sculptures there. They are all modern-contemporary so some of them I didn’t understand, but there were others that I thought were neat. One of my favorites I did not take a picture of because it was filled with Instagram influencers. It was a giant metal sculpture with a swing attached (not a traditional swing, more like the size of a table that you could stand on if you wished) and it allowed four people on it. When you got on the swing, the rest of the metal sculpture moved. It was pretty neat. One of my other favorites was the Blue Cock. The blue color was so vibrant.
The museum itself was not really my cup of tea. I am more of a traditional art person, so a lot of modern-contemporary art makes no sense to me. There was an exhibit with wooden tables hanging from the ceiling and attached to a candle that was burning. The burning candle would eventually cause the table fall. There were four tables still hanging and four on the floor. It was interesting. There were a lot of pieces that I just did not understand and looked like something anyone could do. The worst was the banana. I had read an article about it online and couldn’t believe it was actually considered a piece of art.
Paisley Park is not an exciting building to see. It is huge and looks like an office building. It is a beautiful shiny white, but it’s pretty boring as far as what you think about as a home. We were only able to get on one of the regular tours, so we saw nothing extra. They are pretty strict in terms of security there. They check your ticket before you can even drive into the parking lot! Then you have to wait outside until it is about ten minutes before your tour time. The security guard checks you with a wand and you have to put your cell phone in a locked bag. Therefore I do not have a lot of pictures of the inside.
You start the tour in the main atrium. On the walls you can see a lot of his gold and platinum albums and in the middle of the floor is a mosaic with the Prince symbol. There are several rooms that you can explore. The tour guide explained that Prince wanted Paisley Park to be a museum and worked on a lot of the exhibits. There were rooms dedicated to different eras of his music and tours with memorabilia like guitars and outfits. The tiny kitchen and living room area were off the atrium as well. The central point of the tour was the studio that is still being used today. We even got to listen to a song that will be released at the end of this month. The tour guide explained that Prince spent hours in the studio alone singing and mixing his own vocals. He has so much recorded music that they have a lot that they can release in the future. She said that he was one of the few singers that sound the same live as they do in a recording. I wish that I had had a chance to see him perform when he was alive.
My favorite exhibit was the one of his shoes. They were unbelievable. His feet were tiny. Although all his shoes were custom made, they were around a size 5 women. There was a video in which the designers explained how the shoes were designed and constructed. Prince was interested in every aspect of the construction had a personal say in how they were created. They had to make sure to reinforce the heel because he was so rough on them with all the dancing he did. There were so many (and I’m sure it was only a fraction of the collection) and they matched all of his outfits. At the same time it saddened me because I know that one of the reasons Prince took prescription drugs at the end of his life was because of the pain these shoes caused him.
At the end of the tour we were able to take pictures of two performances areas that are still used. The bigger space played clips of some of his concerts and it’s the closest I will get to seeing him on stage.
If you are a Prince fan, you should visit Paisley Park. If you are expecting to see a house with bedrooms and such you will be severely disappointed. This was more a work area that he made his home. You are not allowed to see any of the private rooms such as his bedroom or any living areas besides the small living room and kitchen area. As long as you are prepared for this, you can simply enjoy seeing some amazing memorabilia from his life as well as learning a little more about him.