PREVIEW: Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait

Posted On 07 Jul 2017
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Following its international tour to locations such as Tel Aviv, Vienna and San Francisco, Jewish Museum London’s acclaimed 2013 exhibition Amy Winehouse: Family Portrait, returns to its Camden home.

The exhibition is curated in collaboration with brother Alex and sister-in-law Riva, and the Winehouse family gave Jewish Museum London unprecedented access to her personal belongings that celebrate her passion for music, fashion, sudoku, Snoopy, London and her family.

Divided into four different key themes, this intimate and moving exhibition provides an insight into the woman behind the hype.

The exhibition begins with Amy’s home life, exploring the Jewish history of the Winehouse family and how this heritage influenced Amy and her work. Her Jewish paternal great-great-grandparents came to England as immigrants from Belarus in the early 1890s and Amy had a strong sense of her Jewish roots. Items featured include unseen photographs of Amy’s family life, Friday night Shabbat dinners, Alex’s bar mitzvah and vintage photographs of their stylish grandmother Cynthia, to whom Amy was particularly close.

Raised in Southgate, a frequent visitor to the East End, and at last most strongly associated with Camden Town, Amy was a Londoner through and through.

The second section of the exhibition explores Amy’s connections with her home town through a variety of objects such as photographs of her in Southgate and Camden, ticket stubs from London gigs she went to and items from in her Camden home, such as a vintage bar.

Also explored in the exhibition is the variety of influences on Amy’s music, many of which were passed down through the family – jazz, big band, hip-hop, soul and 1960s girl groups.

As testament to her eclectic tastes, Amy’s record collection will be on display. Other remarkable items related to her love of music and performing arts include her guitar, her Sylvia Young Theatre School uniform, and a Grammy Award that Amy was awarded posthumously in 2011 —for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance – Body and Soul with Tony Bennett.

Finally the exhibition looks at Amy, the style icon, famous for her influences from 1950s rock ’n’ roll and 1960s girl groups.

A range of Amy’s clothing, both designer and high street, will be on display in the exhibition, including the Luella Bartley dress worn at her Glastonbury performance in 2008, an Arrogant Cat dress worn in the Tears Dry On Their Own video, a dress she wore for her debut US TV appearance on the David Letterman Show and a gingham dress that Amy designed for her Fred Perry collection.

Abigail Morris, Director of the Jewish Museum London, said: “Aside from being an immensely talented, iconic and inspirational singer, Amy was also a Jewish girl from North London. It is fitting that the Jewish Museum in her beloved Camden Town should be the place to tell her story. Following its immense success around the world, we are delighted to be bringing our Amy Winehouse exhibition back to London.”

Event: Amy Winehouse: A FAMILY PORTRAIT sponsored by Amy’s record label, Universal Music

Where: Jewish Museum London, Raymond Burton House, 129 – 131 Albert Street, London

When: Exhibition runs till September 24

Time: Daily 10am – 5pm (Friday: 10am – 2pm)

Cost: Adults – £8.50: Concessions – £6.50: Children (5-16) – £3.50: Under 5s – free: Family ticket (two adults and up to four children) – £18: Museum admission (includes entry to exhibition and all permanent displays)

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