I have two prints stamped on the back "Best's Studios". One has the name Best signed on it. They look like Ansel Adams photos but none that I have seen anywhere I have looked. Both have some sort of coloring to them, just a little. Green, brown and blue, dabbed or rubbed into the tree areas and water. They are very old. Has anyone ever seen this? I have tried to find information on it but can't. They have a number on the back and it says "in ordering duplicates refer to number". Any info would be great.


1 Answer 1


I have. To be quite honest, I didn't like them. If you want to see Ansel Adams quality work, in color... buy HIS book "Ansel Adams in Color" (ISBN: 9780316056410). It's a little known secret that he actually shot in color periodically, trying the new technology to see if it ever caught up with his artistic vision.

Adams married Virgina Best, who was also an artist, and owned "Best's Studios". Any "marketing" of his images has been handled through their brand. They actually run www.anseladams.com as a dba under the name "Ansel Adams Studio". So anything with their numbers and such on the back are likely legit reprints from them.

However, I don't think the coloration came from them. The ones I've seen for sale were done by an artist in California who's name I never caught. He bought archive prints from them and added color to them with various media. (Personally, I would almost use the word "deface" to describe what he was doing... but only because I dream to capture images with the depth of character that Adams is known for.)

If you have any doubt about the authenticity, call them and ask. The place is run by photographers who care about photography as an artform, the last time I talked to anyone there they were very knowledgable and helpful in my quest to identify if a print I was looking at purchasing was legit or not. Given a re-order number, I'm betting they'll be able to tell you exactly what it is. It's quite possible it's not an Adams image, but one of some other member of the studio, possibly his wife's if it bears her signature.


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