X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside Out

X-ray image of Enchelynassa canina

X-ray image of Enchelynassa canina. Courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

“Art is science made clear.”
—Jean Cocteau, 1926

When looking at nature close up, we begin to see structures of unexpected beauty. This exhibit features X-rays made for research purposes, but the strikingly elegant images demonstrate the natural union of science and art. Depicting fishes with cartilage, such as sharks and skates, alongside bony, spiny-finned species, these X-rays convey a level of detail reminiscent of fine engravings and reveal the wonderful biological architecture inherent in these creatures.

Plan your visit

X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside Out will be on display from January 11, 2013, to June 7, 2013.

Admission is free. The museum at CHF is open Monday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m, and First Fridays, 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.

Check our visitor information page for directions to the museum, information on accessibility, and additional details to help you plan your visit. Group tours are available by appointment.


X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside Out is organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES) and inspired by Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish (Chronicle Books, 2008), by Stephanie Comer and Deborah Klochko, with essays by Jean-Michel Cousteau, Daniel Pauly, and Lynne R. Parenti and X-rays by Sandra J. Raredon.

X-ray images from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.



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