Friday, October 11th, 2019

Special Announcement! Clairefontaine Rhodia Acquires Stillman & Birn


We are very happy to announce that earlier this month Clairefontaine Rhodia, the subsidiary Rhodia is a part of, acquired the beloved and well regarded Stillman & Birn brand of sketchbooks.

The Stillman & Birn collection offers artists a unique system of premium sketchbooks designed to support mixed media, allowing them to choose the paper weight, shade, and surface that are best suited for their practice. The sketchbooks are made with robust, high-performance Schut paper and are bound in the USA.

As you may know, the Schut mill has been manufacturing fine paper in the Netherlands since 1618. And in 1998, Clairefontaine Rhodia acquired Schut Papier, B.V. as a subsidiary of Exacompta Clairefontaine. So it makes perfect sense for Clairefontaine to add Stillman & Birn to its fine art lines.

A little bit about Stillman & Birn: They’ve been a key player in the fine arts materials industry in the U.S. for decades. Its founder was an esteemed Viennese bookbinder and craftsman, Philip Birn (1911 – 2004), who pioneered the concept of the black hardbound sketchbook from his small plant on Lafayette Street, Manhattan in 1958.

Like Clairefontaine Rhodia, Stillman & Birn embraces a tradition of uncompromising quality. We look forward to growing and preserving the quality and care that has made all three brands and their suppliers so popular among artists and students for what adds up to almost 500 years in the paper-making industry.

4 thoughts on “Special Announcement! Clairefontaine Rhodia Acquires Stillman & Birn

  1. Thanks for your comment, Ana! You may certainly expect wider distribution of S&B sketchbooks. In the meantime, retailers like Amazon, Blick, Jerry’s Artarama, and Wet Paint have a lot of the S&B sketchbook system in stock.

  2. I hope that this acquisition just means greater distribution for S&B. I love their sketchbooks but I often have to work a bit harder to find them than other (often inferior) brands.

  3. Thanks for your comment, Frank! We acquired Stillman & Birn because we love and respect their product, not because we have the intention to change it. We acquired the Schut mill – the same mill that makes Stillman & Birn paper – back in 1998, and that acquisition had no effect on the quality of S&B’s sketchbooks. We have no reason to mess with a good thing!

  4. I like and use Stillman & Birn so I hope you’ll leave a good product alone and not try to make the products something else. I have used the Rhodia Webby (hate the name) for sketching in pen and ink for years and am impressed with the quality. Another excellent product that shouldn’t be changed to satisfy the marketing department.

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