Ray Bandar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ray Bandar (1927-23 December 2017)[1][2] was a scientist, researcher, teacher, naturalist, and artist living in the San Francisco, California area. He had collected more than 7,000 bone specimens, primarily skulls, from animals across the world, keeping them throughout his home in a collection nicknamed the "Bone Palace".[1] The California Academy of Sciences legally authorized him to gather specimens under its permits, and inherited his collection after his death.[3][4]

From May–November 2014 the California Academy of Sciences had an exhibit named "Skulls". This exhibit displayed many skulls from the Ray Bandar collection as well as highlighting a bone cleaning technique using flesh eating beetles, and compared bones from various species to learn more about an animals’ history and their evolution and how environmental changes such as pollution and disease have affected them.[5]

He was the subject of the 30-minute documentary, "Ray Bandar: A Life With Skulls" (2006) by filmmaker Beth Cataldo.[6][2]


  1. ^ a b Yollin, Patricia (2007-01-20). "The Bone Collector". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2023-01-16.
  2. ^ a b Cataldo, Beth (2017-08-17). "Ray Bandar: A Life with Skulls". Retrieved 2023-01-16.
  3. ^ Wong, Kathleen M. (Spring 2002). "A Man for All Skulls article on Bandar's work". California Wild. California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 2023-01-16.
  4. ^ Dowd, Katie (2018-03-01). "Ray 'Bones' Bandar's collection of 6,000 skulls gets new home in San Francisco". SF Gate. Retrieved 2023-01-16.
  5. ^ Gereben, Janos. "Skulls head nifty Academy of Sciences show". San Francisco Examiner. The San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  6. ^ Harmanci, Reyhan (April 26, 2007). "REP PICKS". SFGate. Retrieved 2017-12-24.

External links[edit]

  • Shelf Life A short documentary about Bandar and his wife of 50 years, Alkmene Bandar. Directed by Don Bernier, produced by mimetic media.
  • Filmworks XVII Soundtrack to "Ray Bandar: A Life With Skulls" by composer John Zorn.