A Poignant, Illuminating Look At The Life Of Amy Winehouse

Photo: Courtesy of Contemporary Jewish Museum.
It's hard to believe it's been four years since the Grammy-award winning artist Amy Winehouse passed away. Often referred to as one of the best artists of the 21st century (Back To Black still holds the record in the U.K. for best-selling album), the 27-year-old singer tragically died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco is celebrating the life of the singer with an inspiring exhibit highlighting her personal and professional life. This is the first time an exhibit about Winehouse has been brought to the U.S.; the show was curated by the Jewish Museum of London along with Winehouse's brother and sister-in-law.

"Visitors will discover a side of Amy Winehouse that was unknown, especially her roots and childhood years: her family’s immigrant story (from Belarus to Britain); the special relationship she had with her paternal grandmother, Cynthia Winehouse; and her love of family photographs that she kept in a leather suitcase," curator Pierre-François Galpin tells Refinery29.

"We also discovered that she was an avid reader, and the show presents some of the books she especially liked to read," Galpin says. Among her favorite authors is Dostoyevsky.

Click ahead for a visual journey detailing the star's incredible backstory.


Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait opens today and runs through November 1 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.
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Photo: Courtesy of Contemporary Jewish Museum.
A young Amy Winehouse hanging out at her beloved grandmother's flat.
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Photo: Courtesy of Contemporary Jewish Museum.
A collection of Winehouse's iconic outfits.
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Photo: Courtesy of Contemporary Jewish Museum.
A colorful sketch given to Amy by artist Rachel Harrison.
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Photo: Courtesy of Contemporary Jewish Museum.
Winehouse in her family home, shot by Mark Okoh.
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Photo: Courtesy of Contemporary Jewish Museum.
Festival passes Winehouse collected over the years.
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Photo: Courtesy of Contemporary Jewish Museum.
The guitar Amy learned to play on, which she shared with her brother, Alex. (According to his notes on the exhibition, it is "possibly the worst musical instrument ever made — it sounds awful.")
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