January 2022 - Drawing by Salo Grenning/Pedro

This Artifact of the Month is a drawing by the newspaper illustrator Salo Grenning, alias Pedro. This drawing is one of 36 sketches and drawings that was donated to Jewish Museum Trondheim in 2019. Pedro gave the drawings to a friend of his, and it was the son of this friend that decided to give the whole collection to the museum. The drawings were most likely made in the 1970s, but only a few of the are dated.

This sketch is one of the best preserved. Under the sketch it is written”The police warn against walking alone after dark, and recommend pedestrians to be equipped with a cane”. Below it stands “Aftenposten” in parenthesis. We have so far not been able to find out when it was published.

The newspaper illustrator Salo Grenning was born Salomon Goldfarb in Bergen April 5th, 1918. His parents were Leopold Goldfarb and Sonja Golfarb (b. Epstein) and were Jewish immigrants from an area that is now Northeastern Poland. The family had a chothing store for men in Bergen, however Salo knew from a young age that he was not going to follow in his parent’s footsteps. He drew a lot in his childhood, and he decided to follow his dream to become an artist. He was a student at the School of Art in Belfast from 1935 to 1936 and continued studying at “Kunst- og designhøgskolen” in Bergen the next year. In 1937 to 1938 he studied at «Statens håndverks- og kunstindustriskole».

He took the Artist name “Pedro” in 1940. At that point he moved to England to participate in the war against Germany. In England he drew for “Norsk Tidend”. Furthermore, he participated both in the Norwegian brigade in Scotland and in the British army, and he was decorated for the war efforts. In 1945 he came back to Norway and began as a satirical illustrator for the newspaper “Verdens gang”, where he continued working with until his death in 1986.

He worked fast and he preferred to draw a new sketch rather than edit earlier sketches. His illustrations include political comments, portraits, news coverage and theater illustrations. From 1953 the also drew the comic strip character “Laffen”. Pedro´s art was shown at the Autumn exhibition several times in the 1950s, and at Tegnerforbundets exhibitions in the 1960s and 1970s. His work can be found in several different museums and collections in Norway, and at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Jewish Museum Trondheim is proud to be able to preserve a small part of Pedro´s artistical legacy.