ARTHUR WILLIAM BEST Biography

One of the more prominent early 20th-century landscape painters in Northern California, Arthur Best was especially known for his paintings of the Grand Canyon, Arizona desert, and Sierra Nevada mountains.  With his wife, he founded the Best Art School in San Francisco.

He was born in Mount Pleasanton near Petersboro, Canada, and he and his brothers were musicians with Arthur playing the clarinet. In 1895, the band broke up, and the brothers moved to San Francisco where Arthur and his wife, Alice Leveque Best, established their school at 1625 California Street.

He became a staff artist for the San Francisco Examiner, and in 1904, did a series of Grand Canyon paintings.  In 1905, he was commissioned by the Southern Pacific Railroad to paint pictures of the Southwest and Mexico.  Many of his paintings were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

He died in Oakland on January 26, 1935.

--Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"