The History of Artistic Taxidermy
Established in 1937
Artistic Taxidermy was established in 1937, by Mr. Wiggins and was located on Foster Rd., in Portland, Oregon. Sometime in the 1950's, Wiggins once had a young customer, named David Boys, stop by to have a Bufflehead drake mounted. After many years of business, Mr. Wiggins sold the business to taxidermist Skeet Laurine. In 1956, Mr. Laurine sold the business to William and Barbara Kunkel. Sometime during this period Artistic Taxidermy was moved from Foster Road to 110 Union Ave., Portland.
Mr. Kunkel was a highly skilled taxidermist who focused on quality and attention to detail. His artistry is still on display in many trophy collections. Even today customers bring in a "Kunkel" mount for cleaning and they still look great. David Boys, the former customer turned taxidermist, was hired by Kunkel for bird mounts. In 1970, tragedy struck and Kunkel passed away while on a scuba diving trip in the San Juan Islands. He was survived by his wife, Barbara, and daughters, Ann and Nancy.
Boys and his wife, Meredith, were given the opportunity to buy Artistic Taxidermy and took the leap. Boys, a former pharmaceutical salesman for Parke-Davis, was ambitious and driven by a passion for the artistry of taxidermy. He quickly learned the ropes, business boomed and Artistic Taxidermy's reputation for producing excellent mounts became well known. In 1987, Artistic Taxidermy was moved once more from the "shop" on Union Avenue, to its current location on Foster Road.
In 1997, a Franklin High School student named Garret Heying came by the taxidermy studio and hit up Boys for a job to make some pocket money. Heying was hired and started out by sweeping floors, salting hides and skinning out an occasional deer head. Heying, an artist in his own right, began to learn and love taxidermy. Over the years he was taught how to mount game heads, birds and fish by Boys, who was now getting close to retirement. Heying purchased Artistic Taxidermy in 2004 and has been at the helm since that time.
And what became of that Bufflehead drake that Wiggins mounted for Boys? It sits proudly on display at our store.
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