Louise Bascom, writer, and Watson Barratt, New York set-designer, were a visionary couple who called New York home and Highlands heaven. Their dream was to preserve the fine art and craft of the region. In addition to creating a place for regional artists to exhibit their work in a wing of the Hudson Library, their gift of a gallery in Highlands inspired the establishment of a collection. In the late 1980s, a committee began collecting works of regional artists to display in what was known then as the Bascom-Louise Gallery (now, The Bascom). The collection has grown tremendously over the years and now includes works by some of the best-known artists and craftsmen of the region. The Bascom receives an annual donation from Richard Joel and his Bel Canto committee, which sponsors a concert to benefit the arts. The many dedicated members of The Bascom, and Richard Joel and the Bel Canto Committee, have supported and expanded the Collection into a reputable collection.