Smithsonian Collections


Smithsonian Museum
National Portrait Gallery
The tragic, premature death of Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson)—a flame of creative, daring musical talent—sent shock waves of grief around the world. Prince was a singer, songwriter, virtuoso guitarist, and funk master. Mixing the sounds of James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and P-Funk, his songs expanded beyond the melodic imagination of the Beatles, Miles Davis, and Joni Mitchell. His first club hits featured young urban characters seeking sexual redemption from alienation. In the 1980s he refined a pop sensibility informed by political consciousness, alternating party songs with social protest on 1999 (1982) and Sign o’ the Times (1987). A master of stagecraft, Prince held court at his concerts, alternating blasts of color, dance, and sound. With thirty-nine albums over four decades, and the commercial and critical success of Purple Rain (1984), one of the most powerful music films ever made, Prince leaves us an ineffable, soaring body of work.
Lynn Goldsmith, born 1948
Prince Rogers Nelson, 7 Jun 1958 - 21 Apr 2016
1993 (printed 2010)
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Jimmy Iovine
Digital inkjet print
Image: 34.3 × 51.4 cm (13 1/2 × 20 1/4")
Sheet: 41.2 × 52.2 cm (16 1/4 × 20 9/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 71.1 cm (22 x 28")