FREEHOLD – Bruce Springsteen will be the subject of a unique exhibition at the Monmouth County Historical Association museum in his hometown of Freehold Borough next fall.
“Springsteen: His Hometown” will take a comprehensive look at the rock icon’s life and his impact on music and culture. It will be the largest exhibition drawn from the artifacts of The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University, West Long Branch, ever to be mounted in the Boss’s home state, according to the historical association.
Springsteen lived in Freehold Borough from his birth until his late teens. The exhibit’s unveiling will coincide with his 70th birthday and the centennial of Freehold Borough.
Items included in the exhibition will range from personal scrapbooks handmade by Springsteen’s mother to alternate album covers never before seen by the public. Oral histories from the archives will lend unique perspectives from those in Springsteen’s orbit (and legends in their own right), including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez, surfing legend and early Springsteen manager Carl “Tinker” West, “Born to Run” drummer Ernest “Boom” Carter, and more, according to the historical association.
“Springsteen: His Hometown” will be curated by Melissa Ziobro, Monmouth University’s Specialist Professor of Public History, in conjunction with the archives. Since 2016, Ziobro’s classes have been working with the archives on various projects.
“Now I look forward to partnering with the Monmouth County Historical Association to interpret the collection for the widest audience possible,” Ziobro said. “I am honored and excited to have unfettered access to the archives for this exhibition.”
Eileen Chapman, director of the archives, and Robert Santelli, founding director of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, will also serve as advisers to the exhibit.
“We are thrilled that two distinguished authorities in all things Springsteen have accepted Professor Ziobro’s request to contribute their expertise to the exhibit” said Linda Bricker, president of the historical association’s Board of Trustees. “Our goal is to ensure that ‘Springsteen: His Hometown’ truly captures the essence of ‘the Boss’ in a unique and engaging way.”
In 2011, the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection, a fan-curated archive comprised of nearly 35,000 items from 47 countries, ranging from books and concert memorabilia to articles and promotional materials, was presented to Monmouth University.
In 2017, a new partnership to expand that special collection into The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music was announced. Now, with Springsteen’s collaboration, the center serves as the official archival repository for his written works, photographs, periodicals and artifacts, according to the historical association.
Access to the archives is designed to stimulate academic discourse and discussion, and to provide entertainment, knowledge and insight into the works of Bruce Springsteen, as well as to explore the influence of other legendary figures of American music on developing his unique perspective.
“Springsteen: His Hometown” will remain on view through Fall 2020 at the Monmouth County Historical Association Museum, 70 Court St., Freehold Borough. For more information, visit www.monmouthhistory.org or call 732-462-1466, ext. 19.