The Stillman & Birn sketchbook concept embraces the importance that the sketchbook has had throughout art history. Leonardo da Vinci treasured his sketchbook — so has every artist from Michelangelo to Picasso and beyond.
Why is the sketchbook so important? Because in the studio as well as in the field, the sketchbook is an "art journal" and the artist's companion. It is a platform for invention, recording ideas, and documenting the evolution of a work of art, from its earliest conception to its final rendering. In this way, the sketchbook is a permanent record of the artist's thinking.
Ask any group of artists what they do with their filled sketchbooks. Few will say that they dispose of them. On the contrary, just like Michelangelo, today's artists maintain a lifelong connection to them. The Stillman & Birn sketchbook program recognizes the special relationship artists have with their sketchbooks and aspires to offer a premium product range worthy of that relationship.
Stillman & Birn is a brand associated with an earlier era of the art materials industry in the United States. The original company was founded in 1958 by Philip Birn, a highly admired Viennese bookbinder who brought his Old World craftsmanship to a small plant in the SoHo section of Manhattan.
The new Stillman & Birn organization is led by Birn's nephew, Michael Kalman, and his partner, Oscar Hernandez, both formerly with Cachet and both of whom possess many years of experience in sketchbook manufacturing.