Joseph Beuys was born May 12, 1921, in Krefeld on the German/Dutch border near his parents' home in Cleves. The family moved from here to the nearby Rindern where his father and uncle owned a flour and fodder business in 1930. The geography of this border region of the lower Rhine valley left a permanent impression. Childhood memories of the common local wildlife-hare, stag, and swans-were to take on significant meanings in his mature art. As a child Beuys was fascinated with the role of the shepherd and carried around a large staff.