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Photograph - Ringing the temple bells

Ringing the temple bells

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    India (made)

  • Date:

    1950s-1960s (made)
    1990s (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Monaco, Frank, born 1917 - died 2007 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Black and white photograph

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Frank Monaco

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Taken from inside the temple, this photograph shows visitors ringing the temple bells as they enter for worship.

The American photojournalist Frank Monaco (1917-2007) did not take up photography until the early 1950s. He visited India many times between 1965 and 2004 and took a series of photographs which document temples and the busy life in and around the temple sites. In his images Monaco manages to capture people worshipping and performing ritual ceremonies within the temple complex and beyond without being intrusive.

Physical description

Taken from inside the temple, this black and white photograph shows visitors ringing the temple bells as they enter for worship.

Place of Origin

India (made)


1950s-1960s (made)
1990s (printed)


Monaco, Frank, born 1917 - died 2007 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Black and white photograph

Marks and inscriptions

Name of photographer stamped on back


Height: 29.2 cm image, Width: 20 cm image, Height: 30.4 cm photographic paper, Width: 24 cm photographic paper

Descriptive line

'Ringing the temple bells', black and white photograph by Frank Monaco, India, 1950s-1960s, printed in 1990s

Production Note

This print made in the 1990s. In a letter written to the museum after Frank Monaco’s death in 2007, his nephew, Oliver Morse wrote:

‘We believe that Frank visited India 16 times during the last 25 years of his life. His papers show that he went there for two weeks in February 2004, and we think that this was his final visit. From the 1950s up until about the year 2000 his camera of choice was the Leica. This remained his favourite camera, but in about 2000 he also started using a digital camera. At this time he also took with him on his trips a second separate digital camera loaded with colour film. This enabled him to photograph the same scene in colour within the same 5 minute period….’
Letter dated January 15th 2008 is in the Registered file: 1999/709

In a further letter dated 19th January 2008, his other nephew, Jonathan Morse, found a list of dates in his diary which he believes were the dates that Frank travelled to India.

The 19 dates are noted in the Registered file: 1999/709


Photographic paper



Subjects depicted

Worship; Religion (concept); Bells; Temple


Hinduism; Photographs


South & South East Asia Collection

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