Bruce Springsteen

image for Bruce Springsteen
Exhibition Label
Bruce Springsteen is the heroic poet/everyman of rock and roll. He revitalized popular music in the 1970s through a synthesis of soul, pop, Elvis, James Brown, Bob Dylan, and Woody Guthrie. His stunning live performances still take their cues from Brown’s soul revues: he has created a concert ritual that combines elements of religion, politics, and party music. Raised in a factory town that he found oppressive, Springsteen was inspired by Top 40 radio’s messages of hope, rebellion, freedom, sex, and pleasure. "Rock and roll came to my house where there seemed to be no way out," he once said. Springsteen has a legendary work ethic and considers his art a job of social leadership: his audience is a secular congregation to whom he offers affirmation and inspiration. In an era of constant personal reinvention, Springsteen still projects a unique sense of cultural cool even in deep middle age. In this portrait he prepares for a concert backstage with a certain relaxed intensity.
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
© Annie Leibovitz, courtesy of the artist
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
1999 (printed 2012)
Object number
Annie Leibovitz, born 2 Oct 1949
Bruce Springsteen, born 23 Sep 1949
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Table
Printed Material\Papers
Equipment\Drafting & Writing Implements\Writing implement\Pen
Music\Musical instrument\Guitar
Home Furnishings\Drinking vessel\Cup
Home Furnishings\Dishes\Bowl
Bruce Springsteen: Male
Bruce Springsteen: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Bruce Springsteen: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer
Bruce Springsteen: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Guitarist
Bruce Springsteen: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Rock
Bruce Springsteen: Oscar
United States\Pennsylvania\Philadelphia\Philadelphia
Archival inkjet print
Image: 33.6 x 49.4 cm (13 1/4 x 19 7/16")
Sheet: 50.7 x 60.9 cm (19 15/16 x 24")
Possible Mat Size: 55.9 x 71.1 cm (22 x 28")
National Portrait Gallery