Hometown Association Gives the Boss a Museum Treatment

The Monmouth County Historical Association will honor its most famous local resident, Bruce Springsteen, with a museum exhibit full of rare items.

From the title of his first album, ‌Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., fans always had a pretty strong handle on where Bruce Springsteen was from. And, as the Boss nears his 70th birthday this September, a local historical association is bringing together the many local threads of a homegrown New Jersey icon.

The Monmouth County Historical Association (MCHA) is organizing an exhibit about Springsteen, who was born there in 1949 and grew up in the city of Freehold. The exhibit will showcase the musician’s ties to the region dating all the way back to the Revolutionary War—which a direct ancestor, John Springsteen, fought in.

More than 150 unique items will be included in the exhibit, sourced from the association, Springsteen’s official archives, and the Center for American Music at Monmouth University. Among them: a scrapbook assembled by the artist’s mother and a poster from his early band The Castiles, along with artifacts that detail the Springsteen family’s place in U.S. history.

Along with his E Street Band, Springsteen is one of the most popular touring acts of all time, with 19 studio albums in his repertoire, most famously Born to Run, Nebraska, and Born in the U.S.A. He is currently nominated for an Emmy for his ‌Springsteen on Broadway variety special; if he wins, he will be one of a small number of performers to  win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.

“The MCHA is honored to have the opportunity to exhibit some of the most unique, and some never-before-seen, items that reflect the unparalleled career and life of Bruce Springsteen,” said MCHA Board Chair Linda Bricker in a statement to the Asbury Park Press. “Springsteen remains an essential part of the fabric that comprises the deep history of Monmouth County.”

The exhibit’s opening on September 29 is timed near Springsteen’s birthday on September 23 and the Freehold Borough centennial.

(Shayne Kaye/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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