The Bascom owes its existence to artist Watson Barratt, who had a vision to establish a permanent gallery in Highlands, NC, for the display of works created by regional artists.


 

The Barratts Come to Highlands

The Bascom’s history begins with artist Watson Barratt, who had a vision to establish a permanent gallery in Highlands for the display of works created by regional artists. Watson and his wife, Louise Bascom Barratt, lived part-time in Highlands.

The Bascom’s history begins with artist Watson Barratt, who had a vision to establish a permanent...

An Artistic Vision

Barratt was a longtime supporter of the Hudson Library, and when he died in 1962, his will stipulated that once his estate was settled, the Hudson Library would receive funds earmarked for a gallery within the library. This dream was visionary at the time. Creating an exhibition space and permanent collection in a village of just a few hundred residents distinguished Highlands as a progressive community committed to nurturing its local talent and celebrating its natural assets.

Barratt was a longtime supporter of the Hudson Library, and when he died in 1962, his will...

A Gallery is Born

Barratt's estate was settled in the mid 1980’s, and his dream became a reality. In 1985, construction of the Hudson Library utilized proceeds from the estate and included a dedicated space for the Bascom-Louise Gallery. During this time, there were small exhibits and classes in that one room and programming and dreams grew.

Barratt's estate was settled in the mid 1980’s, and his dream became a reality. In 1985,...

A Separate Space

In 1999, the Hudson Library and the Bascom-Louise Gallery amicably decided to separate their operations. As an independent non-profit, the art center grew even more rapidly. It quadrupled its exhibit schedule over a six-year period, bringing in exceptional two- and three-dimensional work from all over the Southeast. Concurrent with this growth, the board started making plans to raise funds and build a dedicated own facility. Over the course of the next several years, funds were raised, land was purchased, plans were drawn up and construction began in 2007.

In 1999, the Hudson Library and the Bascom-Louise Gallery amicably decided to separate their...

Becoming The Bascom

With a new name, The Bascom opened in May 2009 on the former Crane house farm property. The six acre park-like setting welcomes visitors of all ages and backgrounds to share art experiences and to enjoy the synergy of art and nature.

With a new name, The Bascom opened in May 2009 on the former Crane house farm property. The six...

A Home for Visual Arts in Highlands

The art center today continues to be a creative hub for art lovers and artists of all ability levels, and for the community as a whole. Its success as an educational resource and tourist destination is a boon for the region, and over 1,000 individuals, families, and business have contributed towards The Bascom’s education and exhibitions programming.

The art center today continues to be a creative hub for art lovers and artists of all ability...