Artist Biography

Arthur William BEST
1859 - 1935

Arthur William Best was born in Mount Pleasant, Canada on July 17, 1859. He and his brother Harry attended public school in Mount Pleasant and were members of a small band. Arthur played the cornet; Harry, the violin. When the band broke up in Oregon, the brothers learned to paint before moving to San Francisco in 1895. Arthur and his wife Alice established the Best Art School at 1625 California Street and a residence at 309 Broderick. He was a staff artist for the San Francisco Examiner (1904-06). Arthur was commissioned by Southern Pacific Railroad to paint pictures of the Southwest and Mexico for travel and tourist publicity in 1905. Many of his oils and watercolors were destroyed by the earthquake and fire of 1906. His landscapes include depictions of the Arizona desert, Grand Canyon and the Sierra Nevada. He died in Oakland on January 26, 1935. Member: San Francisco Art Ass'n; Berkeley League of Fine Arts; Bohemian Club. Exhibited: Oregon State Fair, 1891 (first prize); Mark Hopkins Art Institute, 1898, 1904; San Francisco Art Ass'n, 1904-16; San Francisco Artists Society, 1905; Berkeley Art Ass'n, 1908; California State Fairs (awards); Alaska-Yukon Expo (Seattle), 1909 (bronze medal); Del Monte Art Gallery, 1910, 1912; Sorosis Club, 1913. Works held: Oakland Museum; Phoenix Museum; University of Oregon; Charles M. Russell Gallery (Great Falls, MT); Santa Fe Railroad.

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