Ansel Adams Gallery Rehabilitation
Plan announced and presented at the July 2011 monthly Open House.
Best's Studio was one of several artists' studios operating in Yosemite Valley at the turn of the twentieth century. Harry Best opened his studio in Yosemite Valley in 1902. In 1925 he relocated the business from Old Yosemite Village (near the Chapel) to its present location (between the Visitor Center and the Yosemite Post Office).
A young and talented artist named Ansel Adams often played the piano at Best's Studio. Ansel met his future wife, Harry Best's daughter Virginia, there and it is where he first publicly exhibited his art. He and his family lived and worked at this site through the late 1940s.
In the 1960s, Ansel made improvements to the Gallery and designed the porch and pergola that exist today. These buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places and sited within the Yosemite Valley Archeological District. The family still operates their photography studio and gallery there.
Did You Know?
In Wawona and downstream, the South Fork Merced River provides habitat for a rare plant, the Sierra sweet bay (Myrica hartwegii). This special status shrub is found in only five Sierra Nevada counties. In Yosemite, it occurs exclusively on sand bars and river banks along the South Fork Merced River downstream from Wawona and on Big Creek.