"If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere"

Vincent van Gogh

scroll down

Our Story

When the first word you speak is "vogel" ("bird" in Dutch) it's hard not to have a lifelong passion for these flying intelligent wonders of evolution. A passion that has always been a common thread trough my life. Combining this passion with taxidermy started at Art School where I first used the dead birds I found, in my art projects. Since I was struggling to use the birds in their full potential, my parents gave me a taxidermy workshop for my 20th birthday. My best birthday present ever, and one that would probably determine the rest of my life. After Art School I attended the Radboud University of Nijmegen and got my Phd in Arts. I've always found an interest in the symbolism of birds during the early modern age. Therefore I wrote a thesis about the ring necked parakeet in historical art and one about "the Goldfinch" by Carel Fabritius.

During my study I supported myself by selling the birds I mounted, and by the time I got my Masters degree this was going well enough to make taxidermy my full time profession. While I was writing my Master thesis I met Willem who is now not only my partner in life but also in business. He is my manager and handyman. But most important of all, he gives our mounts their finishing touch which gives them back their "soul". He has a life long interest and passion for extinct animals and has created reconstrutions that can be found in museums all over the world. He has an extensive knowledge of nature due to his experience with keeping and rearing many different species of birds, as well as reptiles, mammals, insects and exotic plants. Together we live and work from our home and workshop based in the Netherlands near the medieval city of 's Hertogenbosch, sending our taxidermy art to collectors and museums worldwide.

Christel & Willem van Ommen-Verdaasdonk

© 2019 by "The Breathless Zoo" and Christel & Willem van Ommen-Verdaasdonk