The history of Taxidermy Studio Bouten is outright impressive and the same goes for the achievements of the past century. A striking history assures a challenging future with room for sustainable innovation and permanent respect for every biological creature. It is not just out of nowhere that respected and leading companies such as the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin and Naturalis in Leiden, the Netherlands chose to exclusively let their animals – big and small – mount and restore by Bouten in Venlo.
In 1918, Taxidermy Studio Bouten started as an innocent fascination from founder Leo Bouten from Venlo. Next to his job as a saddler, Leo was a passionate hunter. As a hobby, Leo stuffed the shot animals. Later on, he also stuffed exotic animals for missionaries in the Mission Museum in the village of Steyl, Limburg. This passion for animals and nature meanwhile expanded to an international operating enterprise with an impressive honours list in the world of taxidermists. The bars are set high at Bouten and the history that is enriched every day ensures that quality boundaries are still being pushed. The hobby of Leo Bouten in 1918 has led to the fact that the mounting and restoring of animals at the highest level can now be benefited from on a global scale.
After the liberation, Leo continues the business, together with his son Jac. The company was taken over in 1948 by son Jac, who subsequently extended it into a taxidermy trading company. Especially the relationship with the American company Jonas Bros Europe does not harm Bouten. Business is going well, until the protests against hunting and the use of animal skins increase. The Dutch legislation is being tightened. The taxidermists have to join forces and thanks to Jac Bouten, the Dutch Taxidermy Association (NVP) has been established. The future of the entire industry has been secured.
Time passes by and technology develops. In 1988, Leon takes over the studio from his father. The studio specializes in a technique in which the traditional ‘skeleton’ made of wire and filling material is replaced by handmade synthetic body. Bouten will make these shapes themself and offer them to colleagues worldwide. In addition to museums, more and more private clients are using Atelier Bouten’s taxidermy qualities.
Maurice, generation four, has been working in the studio since 1991. The example of experience and skill goed from generation to generation, from father to son. Maurice also learns the tricks from the trade from Perr Lynn, a talented young Norwegian taxidermist. Maurice wins great prices and achieves the status of Dutch champion, European champion and an excellent first place in the World Taxidermy Championship.
With over twenty years of experience in taxidermy, Wesley joins the team in 2019. From 2023 on, the business will be passed on to Wesley Kevenaar. Wesley has won many prizes and honorable mentions at the Dutch and European Taxidermy Championships. In 2021 Wesley even won the title of European Champion with his English bulldog Bommel! Thanks to his passion for the trade and nature, Wesley has a good eye for creating unique, true-to-life pieces. His modern view on business management provides great ideas for the future of Bouten Taxidermy Studio.
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