Bruce Springsteen's exhibition at the Constitution Center
2/16/2012 10:19:00 PM
Today I had a chance to preview the Bruce Springsteen exhibition that’s opening on Friday, Feb 17 at the National Constitution Center. It’s kind of odd in a way, to see a rock star’s name hanging in the front of that dramatic building at 5th and Arch and to hear “Trapped” by Springsteen coming out of the speakers as I approached the doors. But this is a very vital, modern venue with free thinkers like the ones that wrote our constitution to begin with. The Center’s motto these days is “Freedom is Calling.” Well, it’s calling our name because this exhibition is all about rock ‘n roll and the freedom to express ourselves through it.
What better artist to represent freedom, rock ‘n roll, and expression than Bruuuuuuce?
Any fan will enjoy being transported through the life and artifacts of one Bruce Springsteen. I especially enjoyed hearing his early audition tapes, watching him play piano in a video, and seeing the Oscar he won for Best Original Song (“Streets of Philadelphia” that opened the film “Philadelphia”).
You may have seen this exhibition in Cleveland when it ran there for two years 2009-11. Philly is the first town to get it since that original, successful run. It’s not known whether it will travel anywhere else.
When Bruce played the Grammys the other night, he needed a guitar for his performance that was already on display here in town. Part of his agreement is that anything he might need during the run of this show, he can have. He never ended up playing the guitar he borrowed on the Grammys, and it was returned yesterday in time for the opening tomorrow.
And speaking of the Grammys, photographer Danny Clinch has worked with Springsteen multiple times and many of his photos are featured in this exhibit. I was able to meet him backstage at the Grammys because for the past few years, Clinch has been the one that makes the official Grammy portraits of all the winners, one at a time. There he was with his hat, lots of props for the shoot, and a good sense of humor.
Did Bruce attend the exhibition when it was up in Cleveland? Only once according to the Constitution Center’s Public Relations Manager, Lauren A. Saul. Apparently he came incognito on the last day. Well, he’s coming to Philly March 28 & 29 to play with his E Street Band at the Wells Fargo Center. Will he stop in to see the exhibition during his visit here? Nobody knows.
The exhibition runs February 17 though September 3, 2012. To find out more, visit the National Constitution Center’s website.