The versatile artist Storm P.

The exhibition is open until the end of July 2023.

It is now 140 years since the birth of the multi-talented artist Robert Storm Petersen, who was born in Valby, Copenhagen, on 19 September 1882.

The Danish Poster Museum is celebrating this anniversary with selected works, which together provide a picture of Storm P. and his impressive production of approx. 60,000 drawings, 150 paintings, 50 posters, a wealth of manuscripts, poems and short stories as well as his role in more than 30 film.

Storm P. was an actor, cabaret artist, poster designer, cartoonist, artist, satirist, author and even a butcher’s apprentice for a period. However, instead of taking over his father’s butcher’s shop, art became his career. 


With humour, tragedy, melancholy, insight, satire and social criticism, Storm P. usually portrayed ordinary men and women in everyday situations.

He was raw and direct, and often used humour to convey his message.

The humour was not intended to cloud the seriousness of life, but to give the viewer a sense of hope and the strength to also overcome dark moments.

Storm P. is generally known in Denmark as a humorist more than anything else. His quirky mind gave us all the Opfindelser (Inventions), which were comic drawings of machines that perform small – and almost irrelevant – tasks in absurdly complicated ways

Drawing. The Comedian, 1940.

De Tre Små Mænd og Nummermanden (The Three Small Men and the Number Man) were Storm P.’s figures in what became, in 1913, Denmark’s first cartoon series. The three small men carried out pranks, while the number man followed what they did from the sidelines, his only role being to indicate the sequence of the illustrations with numbers. The series proved incredibly popular, and the figures were used in many different contexts. In 1920, Storm P. finished producing Denmark’s first cartoon film, which was based on the series.

Storm P. was also behind the Peter & Ping cartoon series. The series follows a small, well-dressed man called Peter Vimmelskaft and what he gets up to in the company of Ping, the penguin. The series became one of Storm’s P.’s most successful, and the puns in the cartoons and Ping’s cheeky vocabulary in particular became part of Copenhagen jargon.
 

Robert Storm Petersen’s art made a significant contribution to Denmark’s cultural heritage. Even though he died suddenly on 6 March 1949 aged 66, his art, inspiration and spirit are immortalised. 

 

The mini exhibition can be found on the first floor of the Danish Poster Museum’s exhibition building in Den Gamle By.

The exhibition is open to the public until the end of July 2023.

 

Cirkus, c. 1935. Storm P. loved clowns and often portrayed the circus in his drawings and paintings.
Sæt arbejde i gang, 1940. The ‘Get the work started’ poster was produced during the German occupation of Denmark to keep the wheels turning despite the shortage of goods and the hard economic times.
Tuborg, 1950. Tramps were depicted with empathy, solidarity and warm-heartedness, and here the tramp is named after the Greek politician and general Pericles to emphasise his greatness. The Tuborg poster was Storm P.’s last, and was only completed and published after his death.