The Design Museum - Amy: Beyond the Stage

Updated: Jan 10

Celebrate the creativity and legacy of one of the great artists of our time in this first major retrospective

exhibition on the British musician Amy Winehouse at the Design Museum.


Step backstage and relive iconic performances, examine her eclectic style and explore her creative process, from concept to stage

.

Marking the 10-year anniversary of Amy’s death, the exhibition delves into her emergence as an artist, the musical influences that she drew on, her key albums Frank and Back to Black, and the story behind her iconic beehive, as well as many of her most memorable fashion moments.


Meet the incredible musical artists who influenced Amy’s career from Dinah Washington to Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan to The Supremes and find out about the range of genres she drew on, from jazz to 1960s pop.

This autumn, the Design Museum presents Amy: Beyond the Stage, a celebration of a cultural icon that the world lost too soon. Opening on Friday 26 November 2021, the first major retrospective exhibition on Amy Winehouse explores the creative process, powerful music and unforgettable style of a musician whose work drew a unique line between genres such as Jazz and R&B, through to artists such as The Ronnettes and Mark Ronson, designers such as D&G, Moschino and more.


Born in North London, Amy showed a passion for music from a young age, later attending the Brit School and recording her first demo aged sixteen. Starting at the early stages of her career, visitors can follow Amy’s rise to stardom; get to know Amy through previously unseen personal items including her teenage notebooks, photographs and handwritten lyrics; then explore her love of music, from jazz to soul, R&B to hip-hop, and her down- to-earth enthusiasm for vintage fashion, design and culture.


One of the most beloved artists of the early noughties, Amy’s unmistakable voice and confessional lyrics have resonated with audiences across the globe. From jazz to soul, hip hop to R&B, the exhibition pays tribute to Amy’s voice, her authenticity and her ability to cross genres by drawing on a rich range of music influences – including Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, the Shagri-Las, the Ronettes, Motown, Salt-N-Pepa, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badhu, The Specials, Mark Ronson, Salaam Remi and more.


Priya Khanchandani, Head of Curatorial and Exhibition Curator said:


“Amy’s amazing voice, confessional lyrics and provocative manner made her one of the most important artists of our time. With a sound characterised by 1960s American pop and jazz fused with soul and R&B, she resisted the singular nature of genre, and this was reflected in her image. Although outwardly, Amy defied the notion of design and was incredibly down-to-earth, she had an unmistakable style and drew on a curated set of eclectic and diverse influences. This exhibition pays tribute to the collage of references Amy drew on and which made her a character that was and remains larger than life.”


Naomi Parry, Special Advisor, Amy: Beyond the Stage said:


“I was determined to make an exhibition about Amy happen because I had seen first-hand how she became a global icon. When I approached the museum to realise this ambition they immediately understood that looking at Amy through her creative legacy would create an unforgettable exhibition experience. Often the portrayal of Amy is focused on the negative aspects of her life, while this exhibition will take visitors through all that she achieved and highlight the incredible mark that she left on the lives of her fans all around the world.”


Amy released two albums: Frank (2003) and Back to Black (2008), which sold millions of copies and was the most

influential album of its time.


Visitors can experience a studio space inspired by Metropolis recording studio, where Back to Black was recorded, and enter an immersive experience based on the track Tears Dry on Their Own, both created by the renowned set designer Chiara

Stephenson, with digital design by Luke Halls Studio and artwork by Studio Moross. Visitors will also have the chance to delve into Amy’s confessional lyrics through her personal annotations and uncover the graphic design stories behind her critically acclaimed albums.


The exhibition presents Amy’s distinct personal style through a range of artistic photography and the original outfits she wore during her greatest performances, from high-street clothes to designer brands such as Preen and Moschino for the Brit Awards in 2007, Roberto Cavalli and John Galliano. Covering the Frank and Back to Black eras, see how Amy’s style evolved from the loose-flowing hair and retro wardrobe of the early 2000s to the iconic bold eyeliner, beehive hairstyle and

contemporary look that she wore for the launch of her

second album. Visitors can see her impact on the fashion world and meet some of the designers who collaborated with Amy, including Fred Perry, and explore the culture behind the artist’s favourite accessories, from her popular ‘dolly pump’ shoes to hair adornments.


In the final section, visitors will delve into Amy’s incredible legacy in both music and design. The exhibition celebrates the ways in which designers and musicians have paid homage to her work, from musical tributes to runway fashion by Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel.


The exhibition, a collaboration with Amy’s family, will see her close friend and stylist Naomi Parry advise the Design

Museum on this never-before- seen showcase of how she combined music and design to create her look, style and voice.


Amy: Beyond the Stage opens on Friday 26 November 2021 at the Design Museum.


Tickets are available through

designmuseum.org.