|Founded||1557 ("Canson" name first used in 1801)|
|Europe, Americas, Asia, Australia|
|Products||Fine art papers, school drawing papers, Digital Fine Art and Photography papers|
Number of employees
|Parent||F.I.L.A. - Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A.|
Canson is a French manufacturer of fine art paper and related products.
The story goes that Jean Montgolfier was taken prisoner by the Turks during the Crusades and was compelled to work in a paper mill in Damascus. There he learned how to produce paper, and he brought the knowledge back to Europe when he regained his freedom.
Annonay, the beginning of the Montgolfier success
In 1485, Antoine Vidalon created a cereal mill. The Vidalon Paper Mills (Vidalon-le-Haut and Vidalon-le-Bas) were most probably created in the sixteenth century on the river Deûme in Davézieux parish near Annonay, France from the cereal mill that was transformed. Born in the region of Beaujolais, the Vidalon family were friends with Jean Montgolfier, who was also a papermaker in the Réveillon mill. Jean sent his two sons, Raymond and Michel, to Vidalon, so they could improve their knowledge. In 1693, Raymond and Michel Montgolfier married the daughters of Antoine Chelles, the owner of the paper mills. The Montgolfier family subsequently ran the mills.
Pierre Montgolfier (1700–1793), son of Raymond, was a brilliant manufacturer that aimed in modernizing the profession. Thanks to him, Vidalon mills grew up rapidly. For instance, he developed the Dutch beaters to replace the mallet troughs. One of his 16 children, Joseph Montgolfier was a brilliant inventor. He developed the Bleu de Prusse colour and a new device to raise water ... With his brother Etienne Montgolfier, he created the first hot air balloon, the montgolfière. They used their own paper to make the envelope and they engineered a heating system to inflate it. The first flight took place in Vidalon on December 14, 1782. A memorial still exists in the former paper mill's courtyard, nearby the native house of the Montgolfier brothers and the current Papeteries Canson & Montgolfier museum. Their mark is visible in the logo, it consists of a stylized hot air balloon - a reference to the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne, pioneers of the hot air balloon. In 1783, [Louis XVI ennobled Pierre Montgolfier and his family, both on account of the aerostatic invention and on that of the strides that they have spurred in the papermaking industry. In 1784, the paper mills were granted the name "Manufacture Royale".
Barthélémy Barou de la Lombardière de Canson
One of the daughters of (Jacques-)Etienne Montgolfier, Alexandrine, married Barthélémy de Canson who ran the mills after Etienne's death in 1799. In 1801, the company became "Montgolfier et Canson", then "Canson-Montgolfier" in 1807. Barthélémy de Canson made the paper mill grow and developed many new processes: mass dying, the continuous paper machine, the suction boxes, mass sizing... He has also invented the tracing paper in 1807 thanks to high refining of the paper pulp. He installed the first Robert machine around 1820. In 1853, Canson invented a medium for positive and negative prints. He perfected it and was granted numerous patents in France and abroad. This paper cut out the need to use platinum or gold chloride, so was easier and cheaper to use. In 1860, the Montgolfier papermills were the largest in France. The company was registered as "Societe Anonyme" under the name "Anciennes manufactures Canson & Montgolfier" in 1881.
Canson and the artists
In 1910, Gustave Maillol developed, for his uncle Aristide, a special paper for printmaking. He installed his small factory in Montval near Paris. He had to stop because of World War I and, when he came back home, his equipments were scattered. He then asked Canson in Annonay to develop and produce "Les Papiers de Montval", that are still sold today. Many artists have used Canson paper: Edgar Degas, Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, Marc Chagall, Picasso, Delacroix, Matisse....
In 1926, Canson opened a subsidiary in New York City, USA.
In 1947, Canson created the famous French « pochette », so teachers no longer have to transport heavy stacks of pads.
In 1956, Blanchet et Kléber de Rives joined the mills of d'Arches, Johannot d'Annonay, et du Marais and created Arjomari (ARches, JOhannot, MArais, RIves).
The Arjomari company acquired Papeteries Canson & Montgolfier in 1976.
In 1990, Arjomari merged with the Wiggins Teape Appleton group and became the Arjo Wiggins group.
In late 2006, the group Hamelin acquired Canson with all its subsidiaries. Hamelin is a European supplier of school, office and fine art products. Oxford and Elba are brands of the Hamelin group.
In 1784, when the paper mill became manufacture Royale, Canson donned its device and coats of arms. Annonay's red and golden blazon, the hot air balloon that Joseph and Etienne had invented, and paper blended into the coat of arms. The device, Ite per Orbem, (« Travel the world ») referred to Montgolfier paper, which was already international. Today the Canson logo is a stylized hot-air balloon.
|Category||Range of papers|
|Fine Art||Watercolour, oil, acrylic, pastel, graphic arts, printmaking|
|Professional Design||Architectural scale models|
|Technical & digital||Printing & photography, technical drawing, office|
|Arts & Craft||Handicraft, leisure photo paper|
There are many ranges of products : Montval, a range for watercolour papers ; Mi-Teintes, coloured paper for pastel, drawing and handicrafts; Ingres Vidalon, a coloured laid paper; "C" à Grain and 1557, drawing paper ; Figueras, paper for oil and acrylic; Infinity : digital fine art and photographic paper; XL, products for students
Cotton paper is durable and holds up to water, rubber cement and wax treatments. They also make sketch pads, rolls and sheets of paper with different tooth and weight. This is for graphite, pastel, charcoal and ink use.
Canson also produces specialty sheets and framing board for chalk pastel use under the brand-name Mi-Teintes. Composed of 60% cotton, the sheets are heavy, rough in texture, and come in 60 colors.
Fonds Canson pour l'Art et le Papier (Foundation for Art and Paper)
In 2010, the Hamelin group and Canson created the Fonds Canson pour l'art et le papier (Foundation for Art and Paper). The objective is to organize sponsoring actions for artists who work with paper. Its main action is the Prix Canson (Canson Award) for an emerging artist who is accomplishing a remarkable work with paper.
In 2010, The Prix Canson was awarded to Fabien Mérelle by a jury whose president was Gérard Garouste. In 2011, Ronald Cornelissen, Dutch artist, was awarded the Prix Canson. Virginia Chihota, Zimbabwe, is the winner of the 2013 Prix Canson. She uses drawing and silkscreen printing to explore the themes of human relationships, such as those of isolation, consciousness and cultural dislocation. In 2014, Simon Evans and his creative partner Sarah Lannan are the winners of the Prix Canson. Their drawings, graphs, charts, diagrams and plans, classifications and inventories are all graphic elements of concrete poetry and "psychography" or automatic writing. In 2015, the Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas was awarded the Prix Canson in the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
Canson and the Louvre
Since 2010, Canson is a major sponsor of the Louvre museum and is supporting the following actions: the Internet website of the museum, the digitisation of the prints and drawings department's collection. Canson has also sponsored Le Papier à l'œuvre, an exhibition on interaction between paper and artists, which took place from June to September 2011 in the Louvre museum. Some works of great artists were done on Canson paper: Nu bleu IV from Henri Matisse and Combustion, mèche noire et traces de brûlures sur papier Canson II from Christian Jaccard, as well as a contemporary work from Dominique de Beir, Le Blanc, c'est la nuit.
- History of Canson: Chronology
- History of Canson: 1801
- History of Canson: 1557
- d'Art et de Papier. Marie-Hélène Reynaud. November 2009. Editions Textuel
- La papeterie Ardéchoise. 15 August 1988. Marie-Hélène Reynaud. Ardèche. archives
- Une histoire de Papier. Marie-Hélène Reynaud. June 1989
- Vidalon, old Manufacture royale, Canson & Montgolfier (circa 1922)
- Papermaking in eighteenth-century France: management, labor, and revolution at the Montgolfier Mill, 1761-1805, By Leonard N. Rosenband, The Johns Hopkins University Press, published 2000, ISBN 0-8018-6392-9
- Science and polity in France: the end of the old regime By Charles Coulston Gillispie, Princeton University Press, July 6, 2004, ISBN 978-0-691-11849-9, p391
- le Papier à l'oeuvre - Catalogue de l'exposition au Louvre, 2011.
- Le Monde. Les Petits papiers des Montgolfier; Jacques-Marie Vaslin, 29 mars 2011.
- The emergence of modern business enterprise in France, 1800-1930 By Michael Stephen Smith, Harvard University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-674-01939-3
- Une Histoire de Papier, Marie-Hélène Reynaud, pages 8 and 9, printed in June 1989.
- Beaux-Arts magazine. Quand les artistes créent le mythe Canson; Vincent Huguet, juin 2010.
- Libération. On connaît la chanson; Catherine Mallaval, 20 September 2010.
- Beaux-Arts magazine. Quand les artistes créent le mythe Canson; Vincent Huguet, juin 2010.
- [« Le groupe Hamelin a finalisé l'acquisition de Canson »], article de la revue Caractère, 15/01/2007
- F.I.L.A. completes the acquisition of the Canson Group F.I.L.A., 5 oktober 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
- Canson brand products Archived May 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Arches brand products Archived May 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Beaux-Arts Magazine, June 2010.
- Libération, 8 June 2010.
- Le Monde, 12/13 June 2011.
- Tomber les murs. Virginia Chihota/Paroles sur le vif. Cassandre. Autumn 2013.
- Babelia 28.06.2014 "Barcelona acogio la entrega del Prix Canson 2014"
- Air France Magazine N° 207 "Simon Evans L'art sur papier"
- Prix Canson, Vers un dessin poétique, politique et sexuel, Thomas Jean, Beaux Arts magazine, June 2015
- Adrián Villar Rojas, winner of the 2015 Prix Canson 2015, The Art News Paper, September 2015
- Le Parisien. Chefs d'Oeuvre sur papier, 9 June 2011.
- la Gazette de l'Hôtel Drouot. Le Papier à l'oeuvre, 24 June 2011.