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The Southeast Museum of Photography has expanded with a new exhibition space at the
Lyonia Environmental Center in Deltona, Florida

The Underwater World of Bruce Mozert
October 28, 2010 April 3, 2011
Bruce Mozert

“As Bruce Mozert’s photography comes to light, his best work will likely be recognized as iconic images of the State of Florida’s recent cultural past while becoming integrated into the broader world of photographic aesthetics.”

—Gary Monroe

About the Photographer

Bruce Mozert was born in Newark, Ohio, in 1916 and followed his sister Zoë to New York City in the mid-'30’s; she became a renowned pinup artist, he a photographer. On his way to an assignment in Miami in 1938, he detoured to Silver Springs. Johnny Weissmuller was filming a Tarzan movie there. The round tank the staff possessed was too big for filming underwater, so Mozert created his own first underwater camera! He built a case around his camera made of galvanized metal and electrical tape. Then he found an old inner tube and attached it to the camera so he could slide his arm inside and take the picture. Eventually, the movie star left; Mozert stayed.

Mozert kept refining his camera housings for both still images and movie cameras. He filmed all the underwater footage for the Creature from the Black Lagoon and worked for all of the major television networks, including ABC Sports, NBC’s Mike and the Mermaid, and CBS’ Sea Hunt. For 15 years during the 60’s and 70’s he was a contract photographer and cameraman for Mercury Engines. When he began shooting underwater there were no regulators, and he had to submerge in a diving helmet tethered to a hose at the surface with people pumping air by hand. He eventually attached the hose to a compressor and invented what was one of the first compressed air systems.

Bruce Mozert

“Bruce Mozert came to work in the publicity department at Silver Springs following WWII; after returning from military service. His talent and imagination, coupled with the energy at the Springs was so great that he remained the chief photographer and an integral member of their dynamic marketing team for more than forty years."

"His photographs were published in countless magazines and were sent to newspapers around the world via the wire services; making him one of the world’s most published photographers. Silver Springs was the “Disney World” of its day, since the St. Johns River was the I-75 of the times. With the advent of automobile tourism, the park remained vital into the 70’s, largely because of Mozert’s images."

"Bruce Mozert was a commercial photographer, and also an artist by default. Besides fulfilling Silver Springs' publicity stills, ‘grip-and-grins’, corporate advertisements, and snaps of the steady stream of tourists about to launch on their tours in glass-bottom boats, Mr. Mozert was a true innovator in underwater photography."

Perhaps more significantly, though, was what he did with his underwater cameras. If Bruce Mozert didn’t invent “directorial photography”, he was at the very least responsible for the advent of it (long before it was in art-circle vogue) in his crafted directorial work executed beneath the water at Silver Springs. In fact, he took what would become a future genre, and did it underwater!”

“It was during the era in which “father knew best” that Mr. Mozert came up with wacky ideas of attractive “girls” performing above-ground activities underwater, shtick for the camera that was perfectly suited, albeit naively, and calibrated for his time and audience. Underwater, a woman cooks on an old stove while putting a spoon to her mouth to sample the fare. Condensed canned milk floated through holes cut in the top of a can, looking just like rising smoke. All this was done to show the clarity of Silver Springs’ water and draw tourists to the attraction. The latent consequence was the building of an unprecedented body of artwork. As Bruce Mozert’s photography comes to light, his best work will likely be recognized as iconic images of the State of Florida’s recent cultural past while becoming integrated into the broader world of photographic aesthetics.”
—Gary Monroe.

All images are copyright Bruce Mozert. All photographs are darkroom silver gelatin prints produced by the photographer and are on loan from the collection held by Gary Monroe, DeLand, Florida.

The LYONIA GALLERY presents exhibitions and programs related to environmental, land-use, local history and regional culture in an exhibition space in Volusia County Government’s new LYONIA ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER.

The museum gallery occupies display space immediately adjacent to the environmental exhibits area of the Center. The LYONIA GALLERY will only be open to the public during the normal open hours and days of the Lyonia Environmental Center.

Deltona Map LOCATION
The Deltona Regional Library, Lyonia Environmental Center and Deltona Amphitheater are at 2150 Eustace Ave, Deltona, Florida.

The Southeast Museum of Photography’s LYONIA GALLERY will only be open to the public during the normal open hours of the Lyonia Environmental Center:

Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Friday and Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday: 1:00 - 5:00 pm


For all information about the LYONIA ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER please call: (386) 789-7207 Main Office / (386) 257-6000 Daytona Beach / (386) 423-3300 New Smyrna Beach

Additional information is available by visiting the following websites:



The Southeast Museum of Photography is a service of Daytona State College
1200 W. International Speedway Blvd. (Building 1200) Daytona Beach, FL, 32114, (386) 506-4475
Free Admission & Parking

Click HERE for museum hours of operation

Exhibitions and programs at the Southeast Museum of Photography are supported in part by Daytona State College, Volusia ECHO and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on the Arts.

Daytona State College prohibits discrimination and assures equal opportunity in employment and education services to all individuals without regard to age, ancestry, belief, color, disability, ethnicity, genetic information, gender, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, and veteran status. For more details, read our Equal Opportunity Statement or contact: Lonnie Thompson, Chair of the Equity Committee at 386-506-3403 or 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, Fl. 32114.