Louise Jury, Chief Arts Correspondent
The family of Amy Winehouse is hoping to re-claim her as a typical north London Jewish girl in a new exhibition.
Older brother Alex Winehouse and his wife, Riva, are collaborating with the Jewish Museum in Camden and giving unprecedented access to Amy’s belongings including the guitar he taught her to play on, her record and books collection and a vintage bar from her former home.
The show, which comes in what would have been her 30th year, will also include family photographs such as her brother’s barmitzvah ceremony, Friday night dinners and grandmother Cynthia who was a major style influence on Amy and was the subject of the tattoo on her arm.
Alex Winehouse said: “Amy was someone who was incredibly proud of her Jewish-London roots. Whereas other families would go to the seaside on a sunny day, we’d always go down to the East End. That was who we were and what we were.
“We weren’t religious, but we were traditional. I hope, in this most fitting of places, that the world gets to see this other side not just to Amy, but to our typical Jewish family.”
Abigail Morris, the museum’s chief executive, said it was fitting they told her story. “Amy Winehouse was an immensely talented, iconic and inspirational singer and she was a Jewish girl from north London.”
The idea for the show was sparked when the family offered the museum one of Amy’s dresses and talks began.
Ms Morris said some of the loans were very moving, such as her uniform from the Sylvia Young Theatre School and a Jewish cookbook. “She was very keen on making chicken soup. She would make it for her security guards.”
Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait will run from July 3 to September 15. Admission to the museum, including free entry to the show, is £7.50 for adults. www.jewishmuseum.org.uk/Amy