October 11th, 2019

Clairefontaine Rhodia Acquires Stillman & Birn

Sillman & Birn’s management team announces the acquisition of our company by Clairefontaine Rhodia. We are pleased that our unique mixed media sketchbook system will be nurtured in the future by this renowned and highly respected French paper company. Our connection to the Clairfontaine organization is not new: Stillman & Birn’s paper has always been manufactured by Clairefontaine’s, Schut Paper division. So there will be absolutely no change in our sketchbooks’ paper or in our sketchbook bindings. We thank our customers for your past support and look forward to continue building the Stillman & Birn brand as we become part of the Clairefontaine Rhodia family of products.




Exaclair is pleased to announce that Clairefontaine Rhodia, a subsidiary of the French corporate group Exacompta Clairefontaine SA, has acquired Stillman & Birn LLC, a U.S. brand of sketchbooks.
The Stillman & Birn brand has 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.

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 is best suited
for their media and techniques. The sketchbooks are made with robust, high-performance Schut paper
and are bound in the U.S.

In 1998, Clairefontaine Rhodia acquired Schut Papier, B.V. as a subsidiary of Exacompta
Clairefontaine. The Schut mill has been manufacturing fine paper in the Netherlands since 1618.
Centuries after serving as Rembrandt’s supplier, the mill now works with Clairefontaine to continue to be at the forefront of papermaking, preserving the quality and care that has made them a favorite
among artists and students for almost half a millennium.

Likewise, Stillman & Birn’s corporate culture embraces a tradition of uncompromising quality. It’s a
natural fit for Clairefontaine to add Stillman & Birn to its fine art lines. This acquisition will support a dynamic product development program and a synergy of growth between the three fine art brands, functionally and geographically.

Clairefontaine Rhodia has entrusted Exaclair, Inc., the group’s U.S. distributor since 1984, with the
sales and logistics integration of Stillman & Birn’s operations in North America.



5 comments to Clairefontaine Rhodia Acquires Stillman & Birn

  • I can’t help but be a little bit sad about this. After searching for years I found the Epsilon notebooks and have been using them in A4 size for journaling. I’ve been forced to find accommodations before. I used to use Lalo cahiers until they discontinued them. And I have also experienced actual homelessness. The two experiences were remarkably similar as I scurried about frenetically until some arrangement was found.

    But change must happen and I wish all parties the best. To Stillman and Birn I send my sincere thanks for the wonderful paper that has been faithful partner to the most meaningful moments in my life for the past many years.

    • Stillman & Birn

      We are humbled and moved by your post. Thank you!

      Please understand that Stillman & Birn has been connected behind the scenes with Clairefontaine since the company was founded: the paper we use, the Epsilon paper you love, is and will continue to be manufactured at Clairefontaine’s Schut paper mill in the Netherlands. This will not change, the binding will not change, the packaging will surely change as this multi-national company adds more languages to our descriptive text.

  • Thanks for your reply and assurances. I can’t wait to try the “new” Epsilon even though it will be the same as the “old” Epsilon. And I had no idea until now the paper was actually made in the Netherlands!

  • I love Clairfontaine, so this is wonderful news for me.

    It’s been hard for me to find the Stillman & Birn notebooks I want in my local area; there’s never a wide choice. Looking forward to that changing now. 🙂

    Congratulations. 🙂

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