Around the World in a Day album cover proof with original Polaroid studies
Highly desirable original color 27 x 16.5 printer's proof of the front and back cover designs for Around the World in a Day, the seventh studio album by Prince. The print features a color bar to upper border and printing legend to lower border, listing customer and job name as "W/B, Prince Album" and date as "2/12/85." The box is initialed as "Correct" by artist Doug Henders. In very fine condition.
Includes eight of Henders' original Polaroid studies used in the process of creating the artwork—a left-facing face in profile, a woman playing the violin, a globe, a lace-clad woman with a microphone, Prince's Cloud guitar, a guitarist, and a portrait of Henders posing with the final product. Additionally includes photocopies of Prince's elaborate handwritten instructions to Henders, outlining his requests for 15 subjects to be portrayed in the album cover's artwork (e.g. "A naked black baby running with an American flag"). Between the original Polaroids and the list of requests, this lot creates a fun 'visual search' game—a virtual 'Where's Waldo' for the detailed Around the World in a Day album cover.
Doug Henders met Prince after graduating from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1983. Prince was about to begin production on the Purple Rain film and Henders was commissioned to create artworks for his bedroom set. After production ended, one of those artworks, 'the Face,' became a mural for the 'When Doves Cry' video. Afterwards Henders was invited to become a stage designer and video artist for the Purple Rain tour, which covered 33 cities in 9 months of touring.
While on tour, Prince gave Henders handwritten instructions on the back pages of a tour itinerary to create an album cover painting for his forthcoming album: Around the World in a Day. Henders took Polaroid studies of Prince’s friends and his own to cast as characters in the painting, including himself in a cloud suit playing guitar.
On the road Henders would videotape the concerts at night and then paint the album cover in his hotel room until the sun came up. Prince would call at all hours to examine the painting in progress and show it off to the local celebrities who were partying in his suite. Then he would give approval here and ask for edits there. The original painting was 2' x 4’. During the process of creating it, Henders had management buy an airline ticket for the painting so it had its own seat to insure it was not damaged in transit.
It took two months to complete the Around the World in a Day painting in a dozen cities. At the end of the tour in Los Angeles, Prince invited Warner Brothers executives, The Revolution and personal management to a vacant office suite to hear Around the World in a Day for the first time. Everyone was assembled and asked to sit on the carpet floor. The album cover was displayed on a painting easel next to the turntable. Prince entered the room with his father, wearing matching purple pajamas and paisley bathrobes. There was a hush in the room as he put the needle on the record and everyone heard the music for the first time. The rest is history.
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