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Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait exhibition and the Jewish Museum of Australia

Back on the 14th January, we went along to the Jewish Museum of Australia in St Kilda to check out the Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait exhibition.  Going to the Museum was also on my list.
I hadn't even known that Amy Winehouse (1983-2011) was Jewish so going along and finding out a bit more about her background was interesting.  The exhibition is a collaboration between the Jewish Museum in London and Amy’s brother and sister-in-law. The exhibition looks at her early family life, her music and her Jewish roots. Her families ancestors immigrated to London from Belarus in 1890.
Fridays and her family still celebrated traditional Friday dinners. In one interview, she said that “being Jewish to me is about being together as a real family.”
The objects on display include photos of her early life through to more recent ones, clothing, accessories, records, books and everyday items that show the untold story of a young girl with an amazing talent. What really shines through, is her passion for music and her determination. 

There are quotes throughout the exhibition from her application letter to a performing arts school. Probably the most touching being “I want people to hear my voice’ and remember me… for just being me."   

Towards the end of her life, many people would have had quiet a negative picture of her.  I think this exhibition shows the other side of her and her family and that the pressure of her success probably led to the issues she had.  The world lost a wonderful talent, but her family lost a young troubled girl.

The exhibition closes on the 25 March 2018.  Tickets for adults are $12 - which is the regular price to visit the museum. The rest of the museum contains a good collection of items - worth a look around.

Whilst we were there, we also did a tour of the St Kilda Synagogue (included in the cost of the entry ticket to the Museum) which is just behind the museum.  It's actually called St Kilda Shule and it's one of the oldest and grandest synagogues in Melbourne. Our tour guide was a lovely friendly women - happy to answer any questions.  We knew very little about Jewish traditions so it was really fascinating and worthwhile.

Tours run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 12.30pm with an extra tour on Sunday at 3pm.  We were asked not to take any photos of the Synagogue - inside or out. Which seems a bit strange as you can see it from the street, so as a passer-by you can take them, but we honoured their request.  Stranger still, I got this one from their Facebook page.  You can take pics in the actual museum.

A worthwhile visit and a tick off the list.


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