When Ginnie Love, a friend of Prince’s, was pondering what to do with a cache of photos she snapped years ago at Paisley Park, she knew she could sell or donate them to a number of places.
News that Wendy Biorn, the Carver County Historical Society’s executive director, had carefully removed and cataloged items that mourning fans had left at the fence around Paisley Park, convinced Love that the photos belonged with the historical society.
“I felt like they need to go home,” said Love, who met Prince in 2004 through the New Power Generation music club website. “These need to be somewhere where some kid can see them.”
The 18 photos, snapped during Love’s visits between 2004 and 2006, have no people in them and seem to capture everyday life at Prince’s home. In one, a pool table with purple felt and clear glass balls sits ready for a game. Others feature a periwinkle towel embroidered with the symbol Prince had adopted in his battle with Warner Bros. Records. Another shows four guitars lined up atop an amplifier.
Prince died in April 2016 from an accidental overdose of painkillers.
Love, who said she’s still dealing with his loss, wants the public to see the photos where he had lived. Prince wanted everything to be as local as possible, Love recalled, and supported local artists and record stores.
Biorn said the photos are important because so few cameras were allowed in Paisley Park. She said she may frame them all.
“This will make [the photos] accessible to everybody, forever,” Biorn said. “We have been around 76 years and hope to be around 750 more.”
Biorn said that Prince’s absence from the photos says a lot about him.
“Actually it speaks very loudly, in that he was a very private person,” she said.
The historical society already has about 50 Prince-related items, Biorn said.
Love, who lives in Florida, said she was never a Prince “fangirl” and hadn’t even been to a Prince concert when she met the star. She visited Prince numerous times at Paisley Park from 2004 to 2006 and came to cherish the place.
Visiting the Chanhassen compound “felt like you were leaving the world,” Love said.
Love said one of her favorite photos shows Prince’s limo parked outside his home before he had jumped in. Prince was on his way to Los Angeles and Love was going to a local music show in Minneapolis. When the car was started, a musical scene from the movie Shrek blared out of the doors and windows at full blast. “It was just so Prince,” Love said.
Love said she hopes her donation can bring healing to Prince’s fans and expose a new generation to his music and philanthropy. Selling them was never an option, she said.
“He changed the trajectory of my life,” she said. “This is my way of giving gratitude — it’s a goodbye.”