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Senior leaves unexpected gift

As Lee Zamir graduates from MIT, he's leaving a visible reminder of his presence on campus.

Black Box, a 71/2x9-foot photomontage of Lobby 7, has been installed at the entrance of the Rotch Library on the north wall of the second floor of Lobby 7. Composed of 45 individual black and white prints, the details of columns, windows, ceilings and floor come together for an interior view of the main entrance to MIT.

"I created the original work-a 32x40-inch version-last summer as a wedding gift for an MIT couple who now live in Colorado," said Mr. Zamir, an electrical engineering and computer science major. "The enormous task took more than 50 hours of work," he recalled, but the results were gratifying. "Many at the wedding wanted a copy, or to at least see it again," he said, leading to his decision to create a large version for semi-permanent installation at MIT, as well as a poster run for those wanting their own, less labor-intensive copy.

In September, Mr. Zamir selected his ideal location for Black Box and then spent 10 months seeking permission to install it. "I dragged the smaller version to more than a dozen different offices, getting enthusiastic responses but no signatures on the required paperwork," Mr. Zamir said. "Happily, Steve Immerman, as head of the Facilities Use Committee, approved the use of the site and Bill Mitchell [Dean of Architecture and Planning] accepted project sponsorship. Then I got a grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT to help defray expenses and actually put together the large mural." He will sell his poster versions in Lobby 7, Monday through Wednesday, May 29-31, for $12 or they can be ordered by e-mail: .

Mr. Zamir, who said he developed his passion for photography while at MIT, also has an exhibition at the Wiesner Student Art Gallery on the second floor of the Stratton Student Center through June 10. MIT in All Its. explores the Institute in 40 black and white photographs, tracing a path through the campus' archways, details and the ever-expanding view of MIT students. Following graduation, Mr. Zamir plans to do freelance photography and graphic design work in the Boston area.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 24, 1995.

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