Moon Kwan

image for Moon Kwan
Exhibition Label
Born Guangzhou, China
Moon Kwan was a pivotal figure in the development of the Chinese film industry who began his career in Hollywood during American cinema’s formative years. A native of China, Kwan initially moved to San Francisco before moving to Los Angeles in 1915 to pursue his interest in filmmaking. He found work as a writer and actor but made his principal contribution as an advisor on Chinese culture to director D.W. Griffith during the filming of the silent classic Broken Blossoms (1919). Returning to China in 1921, Kwan established a film company near Shanghai and later taught acting and scriptwriting in Hong Kong. In 1933 he co-founded the Grandview Film Company in San Francisco to make Chinese-language films for the American market. After opening a branch of the company in Hong Kong in 1935, Kwan directed more than fifty films there while continuing to promote and distribute Chinese films in the United States.
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
c. 1918
Object number
Margrethe Mather, 1886 - 1952
Moon Kwan, 1896 - 1995
Moon Kwan: Male
Moon Kwan: Literature\Writer\Poet
Moon Kwan: Performing Arts\Director\Motion Pictures
United States\California\San Francisco\San Francisco
Gelatin silver print
Image/Sheet: 13 x 10.6 cm (5 1/8 x 4 3/16")
Mount: 20.3 x 16.2 cm (8 x 6 3/8")
Mat: 45.7 x 35.6 cm (18 x 14")
National Portrait Gallery