Mittan: A Retrospective
The works of J. Barry Mittan candidly capture the student experience at Florida State University in the 1960's and 70's. As a student and photographer for numerous campus publications, including the Tally-Ho yearbook and Florida Flambeau newspaper, Mittan often photographed students at official university-sponsored events and spontaneous student gatherings alike. Through his documentation of sporting events, Greek life, protests, concerts, study sessions, socials, and so on, he was able to construct a comprehensive view of FSU student life in which individuals banded together to share a common voice in an age of social change. Mittan's unique perspective as a student informed his photographic purpose to see the individuals amongst the crowd.
In reviewing the images it became evident that Mittan captured vignettes of activities and groups, giving equal consideration to athletes and speakers as he did to audience members and bystanders. Adhering to a modernist approach to photography, he carefully structured his compositions paying close attention to form and content.
Mittan passed away in 2013 after having donated a portion of his photographic work. The remainder was donated posthumously by his widow. The selections made for this exhibit were pulled from a set of over a thousand slides and negatives, all of which were unidentified and undated.