A rare chance to explore Amy Winehouse’s Jewish family roots
Friday 21 June 2013
Amy Winehouse’s battered black suitcase is crammed with photos of her family and friends. There is the red jumper she wore as her Sylvia Young School uniform with her name label, as well as her record collection, passes for gigs and her first guitar. These are just a few of the intimate objects on show at Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait at London’s Jewish Museum in Camden, where Winehouse lived, that have been lovingly put together by her brother Alex and his wife Riva, just two years since she died in 2011.
Other photos will be dotted around the gallery including the singer at her flat in Camden, in 2004, standing in front of her mantle piece with photos of her dad Mitch and brother Alex as a baby, as well as Vogue covers. There is a photo of a young Amy at her grandmother Cynthia’s flat in London’s Southgate – she was very close to her stylish “nan” who influenced her distinctive style.
A selection of her paperback books have been gathered together: Kingdom of Fear by Hunter S. Thompson, The Nabokov-Wilson Letters and Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski. Her favourite book was Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold – a historical murder mystery set in the jazz age, as well as Snoopy Stars as the Fitness Freak by Charles M. Schulz. Songs from a track list she wrote aged 14 will be played in the gallery: Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Jam, The Offspring, as well as “So Far Away” by Carole King, which was played at her funeral.
There are a few objects from her last home in Camden Square – a wooden chest in which she kept crossword and Sudoku puzzle books in and cheesy fridge magnets. An essay she wrote at the Sylvia Young School reveals her desire to sing and allow people to forget their troubles.
“We will get visitors who would not usually come to the Jewish Museum,” says Elizabeth Selby, curator at the museum, “who will be able to explore her strong family Jewish roots.”
‘Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait’, Jewish Museum, London, NW1, 3 July to 15 September (jewishmuseum.org.uk/Amy)
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre