• Amy Winehouse in Amsterdam

    by  • March 1, 2016 • Amsterdam, City Breaks, Exhibitions, Music, Religious Sites

    A new exhibition devoted to the deceased singer opens in the Dutch capital.

    You may have seen at this weekend’s Academy Awards in America that ‘Amy’, the controversial Amy Winehouse documentary, won this year’s Oscar in the category of best documentary feature. And as the documentary paying homage to the all-too-short life and incredible work of Amy Winehouse, one of the most successful pop and jazz performers of recent times, was celebrated in Los Angeles, Amsterdam’s Jewish Historical Museum launched a personal and intimate exhibition, curated by none other than Alex Winehouse, the late singer-songwriter’s brother, together with the Jewish Museum in London.

    Running through the spring and summer months until 4th September, ‘Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait’ goes beyond the hype, showing visitors Amy Winehouse as she was in her private life. The exhibition places an emphasis Winehouse’s passion for music and fashion, as well as the history of her Jewish family and her school days. It also focuses on London, especially Camden Town, where she lived for many years. The Winehouse family has offered access to many of Amy’s personal belongings for this exhibition at the Jewish Historical Museum, and the accompanying stories by her brother Alex make the experience even more intimate.

    Exhibition Area Amy Winehouse. Jewish Historical Museum 2016. ©Peter Lange.

    Exhibition Area Amy Winehouse. Jewish Historical Museum 2016. ©Peter Lange.

    Visitors to the exhibition will get to see childhood photographs, a video of a school performance, her tap shoes and favourite guitar, her record collection and a selection of the dresses in which she performed. The exhibition will also include portrait photographs of Amy, as well as the Grammy Award she received after her death in 2011.

    Located at the heart of Amsterdam’s former Jewish quarter, the Jewish Historical Museum is regarded as one of the city’s foremost museums, collecting objects and works of art associated with the religion, culture and history of Jews and Judaism in the Netherlands and its former colonies. Housed in four former Ashkenazi synagogues dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, its permanent exhibition reflects the versatility of Judaism in the past and present and with more than 30,000 works of art, ceremonial items and historical objects in its collection, only a small percentage is on display at any one time.

    As well as its own dedicated children’s museum, the museum is especially renowned for its temporary exhibitions that highlight Jewish history, artists, musicians and others who’ve influenced social and cultural events. ‘Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait’ is one such event, where visitors will discover a lesser-known side of Amy: her life as a teenager and young woman, before the overwhelming media attention and sensationalism that played a fateful role in her life.

    Exhibition Area Amy Winehouse. Jewish Historical Museum 2016. ©Peter Lange.

    Exhibition Area Amy Winehouse. Jewish Historical Museum 2016. ©Peter Lange.

    In the words of Alex Winehouse, “Amy was someone who was incredibly proud of her Jewish‐London roots. We weren’t religious, but we were traditional. I hope that the world gets to see this other side not just to Amy, but to our typical Jewish family.”

    Situated next to Waterlooplein, close to Rembrandt Square, the museum is open daily from 11am until 5pm, with tickets costing 15€ for adults, 7,50€ for teenagers aged 13 to 17 years and 3,75€ for children aged six to 12 years. Your ticket will not only include entrance to the Jewish Historical Museum and Amy Winehouse exhibition, it also gives you access to the JHM Children’s Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue and the Hollandsche Schouwburg.

    An interesting and informative addition to an Amsterdam city break.


    With a French grandmother, childhood holidays on the continent and a degree in French and Spanish, a love of languages and travel has always been in my blood. Fresh from university with an unfettered enthusiasm to show off my linguistic ability and first-hand knowledge of the world beyond the UK, I entered the travel industry and, 16 years on, I’m still there! With several years spent in the luxury sector planning escorted holidays across Europe for the American market, followed by an even longer tenure designing short breaks with a difference in the must-see cities of Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid, Prague, Florence, Brussels, Venice, Salzburg, Milan, Krakow and Berlin (to name but a few), it’s fair to say that Europe is my passion! Today my travels have taken me far beyond the boundaries of Europe with so many destinations still to discover, yet the continent abounds in such a wealth of treasures – historical and architectural, cultural and musical, gastronomic, artistic and linguistic – that its appeal, for me, will be eternal.