Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm


Springsteen’s “Journey” Takes a stop at Monmouth

Springsteen Journey“Bruce Springsteen: The Journey,” a student-curated exhibit at the University’s Guggenheim Memorial Library, is on display for students, faculty, and the public to explore.

The gallery, which showcases the life and times of  New Jersey rock star Bruce Springsteen, is the perfect opportunity for fans and critics alike to learn about The Boss’s roots in our state, particularly right here in Monmouth County.

The project was supervised by specialist professor of public history Melissa Ziobro M.A. in the fall and officially opened Dec. 4.

When asked about the project and the process of putting it all together, Ziobro said, “The exhibit was a wonderful way for the students in my Museums and Archives Management Basics class to apply what they had learned in their textbooks and our class discussions.”

“It also allows the University community, and the general public, to get a glimpse of the holdings of the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music,” Ziobro added.

Divided into six separate cases throughout the first and second floor of the library, the exhibit begins with Springsteen’s years growing up here along the Jersey Shore, then his inevitable take off into international rock and roll stardom.

But this exhibit also provides guests the chance to experience and explore up close some of the written works, photographs, periodicals, and artifacts of Springsteen’s journey captured along the way.

For example, the first case of the exhibit, “Growin’ Up,” includes rare photographs of Springsteen and his family growing up in Freehold in the 1960’s.

There are photographs of his father Douglas, his mother Adele, and one of his sisters, Virginia.

Also included are early pictures of Springsteen and his first band, The Castiles, playing in Sea Bright and posing outside the Café Wha? in 1967 Greenwich Village.

The other cases of the exhibit include “Born in the U.S.A.,” “Musical Evolution,” “International Influence,” “Fandom,” and, “Made in Monmouth.”

His progress and evolution from small time aspiring musician, to major influence on American culture, then to international fame, is captured from display case to display case.

The exhibit emphasizes Springsteen’s role throughout the country and his role in other countries such as Spain, France, and beyond.

“The Made in Monmouth” display case brings the exhibit full circle, because it not only shows The Boss’s ties to Monmouth County, but specifically his connections at the University.

For example, this case displays a photo of Springsteen playing electric guitar on the steps of Wilson Hall in 1969, as well as a photo of Clarence Clemons in Marine Park, Red Bank in 1976.

Other documents and artifacts display more key locations in Monmouth County, like Asbury Park and Long Branch, which show the influence the area had on his songwriting.

The artifacts include photos of Convention Hall, Madam Marie’s Psychic Booth, and the Stone Pony – all major staples to the foundation of his career.

Also on display are photos and documents about 7½ West End Court, the house right in Long Branch where Springsteen wrote the entirety of Born to Run – his third album which would later go on to sell six million copies in the United States.

These important pieces of Springsteen’s life and musical career serve as a great reminder of the history begun and made right here in the Jersey Shore community.

Eileen Chapman, director of the Bruce Springsteen Archives at the University, from where all the artifacts and items were chosen for display, spoke highly about the exhibit.

Chapman stated, “We are always exploring opportunities to exhibit some of the unique items that we have in the Bruce Springsteen Collection.”

She continued with, “Professor Ziobro’s students did an amazing job of identifying significant items and curating a comprehensive look at the life and career of Bruce Springsteen through this remarkable exhibit.”

“Up until now we’ve had to direct visitors to the Springsteen display in the Grammy Experience Museum in Newark so fans of Springsteen and of music are overwhelmingly grateful to have this exhibit at Monmouth University,” Chapman concluded.

By the end of the exhibit, everyone who explores “Bruce Springsteen: The Journey” can agree that this is an experience into his life and career unlike any other.

Chapman, Ziobro, and  students successfully produced a remarkable exhibit showcasing the life of The Boss that everybody can appreciate.

The exhibit will run indefinitely throughout the semester.

PHOTO TAKEN by Nicole Riddle

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Monmouth University
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Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151