Pebeo and the Louvre share at least one thing in common... Both unite, across borders and generations, lovers of the arts, amateurs and professionals alike. But, while the Louvre has put history to the service of Art, it is science that Pébéo has chosen… A calling that came to be just after the First World War, and whose life force was fostered by colors. To fully understand the reasons of this heartfelt partnership with the Louvre , Eric Chaveau, CEO of the company and grand-son of the founder, returns to the source of a beautiful story...
Pebeo was initially a chemical symbol that lent its name to a company which gradually became multinational while remaining family owned. Tell us!
Eric Chaveau : It all began in 1922... Under my grandfather’s impulse, Claudius, a young Marseille engineer, the French Company of chemicals known as "La Pébéo", which took its name from PbO, the abbreviation of lead oxide which is at the origin of colour pigments, is developed in Marseille. These pigments, once manufactured, are then sold in pure form or processed into powdered colours for painters.
The whole of Pébéo’s ambition is summarized in this change…
Eric Chaveau : Yes! Putting science to the service of art through a passionate dialogue with its "practitioners" - the artists - constantly renewed. This is our DNA! (To remain in chemical terminology!).
Eric Chaveau : Rich of this DNA and multiplying the innovations and successes throughout the decades that followed, "La Pébéo" (which become Pébéo in 1970) brings together students, graphic artists, amateur and professional painters to emerge as the reference in manufacturers of color and the link between respect for tradition and an immoderate taste for modernity. Many products, which eventually attained an often spectacular international recognition (Fragonard, Acrylic...), were born of these ties.
On the threshold of the 50’s, a founding meeting Celestin Freinet, teacher and father of the famous method, who was searching for a child-adapted paint, allowed Pebeo to expand its audience...
Eric Chaveau : Together, they invented gouache! The start of an odyssey in which teaching Arts Development is seen as a source of vitality and creativity for children. With this shared ambition and through close collaboration with teachers and - always! - Artists, Pébéo innovates with products tailored based on quality, innovation and ease of use to make them accessible to our little darlings.
Artists and children are conquered ... That then leaves us, me, them...
Eric Chaveau : With the development of free time for everyone, Pebeo, who always wanted to remain "a color in advance", decided to respond to a growing demand: Create, Decorate, Customize. Tapping in its know-how, Pébéo then decided to invest heavily in favor of the creative appetites of the general public by putting to its disposal a diverse range of activities (painting on fabric, glass, wood, molding, sets...)
With such DNA, the Louvre became inevitable...
Eric Chaveau : I sincerely believe, in light of our history, that our partnership is obvious. First, it illustrates and reinforces the very particular relationship that Pebeo, being one of the leading global suppliers of artist materials, has with them.
Then, by supporting thematic modules in relation to creativity and its techniques, Pébéo clearly shows its willingness to partner with the Louvre in its mission to encourage and promote art education for young audiences (who will become older!)
The three modules supported by Pébéo are: "Characters and Themes", "Compositions and colors" - "Children’s questions".