In 2021, Fran Sark generously donated 600 items to the Foundation’s permanent collection. These items represent decades of personal and professional collecting, forming the Ray Sark Basket Collection which will be held in trust for all Islanders.
The Collection features pieces from Indigenous artists across North America, with a significant focus on celebrated basket makers from Mi'kma'ki, including over 100 baskets made by Elder Matilda Lewis, and 100 baskets made by Irene Lewis, Matilda's daughter-in-law. The Ray Sark Basket Collection is a powerful testament to the skill and artistry of Mi'kmaw basket makers.
Many people will be familiar with The North American Indian Arts & Crafts on Lennox Island, opened in the 1970s by Ray. It was from this space that Ray actively supported the preservation and revival of traditional craft by raising the profile of local artists and assisting to generate additional income.
The PEI Museum & Heritage Foundation would like to thank L'Nuey PEIin for their gracious support which has ensured these important artifacts will be preserved for future generations. We are privileged to share this remarkable collection.
We are working diligently to release the whole collection via our Online Collection. There are presently 130 baskets ready to browse, representing the most historic portion of the Ray Sark Basket Collection and more baskets to be added regularly.