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Famous through Hallmark Cards

Knighthood follows fame for Dutch American artist Marjolein Bastin

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Dutch artist Marjolein Bastin, who gained a worldwide following for her nature illustrations, recently received a very special acknowledgement at home when she was inducted as a knight. Now a 'Ridder' in the Order of the Netherlands Lion, Mrs. Bastin devides her time between her homes and workshops in Wekerom, the Netherlands and in the Kansas City vicinity in Missouri.

The prestigeous knighthood recognizes her as being 'an excellent ambassador of the Netherlands and of nature' through her illustrations.

Starting out in 1974 with a self-illustrated page on nature in the Dutch women's weekly 'Libelle,' Bastin branched out to illustrating greeting cards for the Dutch printing firm Spanjersberg ten years later. Her alliance with Hallmark commenced in 1992, when the U.S. conglomerate acquired Spanjersberg. She often is a guest speaker at Hallmark events in North America.


The winner of a 1989 most popular illustrator award, Mrs. Bastin used the prize money to set up a nature foundation, called Swallow Fund, which is part of BirdLife International. She also sponsors the Nature Conservancy in Missouri and sits on the Advisory Board of the Liberty Hospital in Kansas City.

Many of Bastin's illustrations have been published on Hallmark cards and calendars. Her designs also decorate a range of other products, from dinnerware to embroidery kits. Bastin lately has become known as well for her 'Vera the Mouse' designs. She also is a contrtibutor to Dutch nature magazine 'Grasduinen' (literally 'grass dunes' but also could mean 'to browse' or 'to wander').