Medical X-rays as objets d’art
National Academy of Sciences, opens Sept. 17

The aesthetic quality of X-rays is the subject of “History’s Shadow,” an exhibition at the National Academy of Sciences opening Sept. 17. Instead of taking X-rays of broken bones and rotting teeth, photographer David Maisel applied an artist’s touch to the clinical technology, capturing ghostlike, black-and-white renderings of classical sculptures. Whether in medicine or in art, the X-ray “reveals losses, replacements, methods of construction, and internal trauma that may not be visible to the naked eye,” writes Maisel, who re-photographed and manipulated each X-ray until it took on an ethereal quality. The marble head of a woman shows no sign of soft tissue, but her gaze is hidden behind a swath of lush white eyelashes. A male figure appears to stand with no skeleton. The result is otherworldly. The images will be on display in Washington through Jan. 14.

Medicine meets the Mafia in a new drama focused on a Chicago physician
“The Mob Doctor,” premieres Sept. 17 on Fox

“The Mob Doctor” is a new Fox drama about a gifted young surgeon who moonlights as a doctor to the Mafia. The show centers around Grace Devlin (played by Jordana Spiro), a resident at Chicago’s Roosevelt Medical Center. In true “medical drama” fashion, Devlin treats patients such as a toddler in need of a heart transplant and victims of a two-train collision on the city’s “L.” But outside the hospital, her brother’s gambling debts have pulled her into another world. In dingy warehouses and South Side backrooms, she tends to mobsters and their victims. Devlin struggles to find balance in her career, her mob debt and her personal life (a heroine is nothing without boyfriend troubles, after all), but her unlikely worlds are fated to collide when the mob pressures her to kill one of her patients — an FBI informant.

X-rays take on an ethereal quality in a new exhibition. (David Maisel)

Maggie Fazeli Fard