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  • 94853 (Source: National Archives Catalog)

Date produced: 1936


Kenneth F. Space

Dan Lindsay




800 ft





Sound Notes:



ACL Ten Best 1936 - Honorable Mention Special Class


"In China's Gifts to the West, we have what may be termed a tour de force of cinematic cutting. The most interesting part of the film is made up of a series of beautifully composed and photographed "stills," but the duration of each of these shots is so carefully timed that the entire sequence is fused into a relationship which conveys a distinct impression of cinematic motion — perhaps not "motion" in the ordinary sense of physical activity, but rather the deeper and more fundamental activity of the mind as it contemplates, one after the other, the various ideas which make up the unity of a conception. This has been accomplished by Mr. Space in his excellent choice of illustrations, which are projected into the mind in exactly the right order and appearance. Beside this purely cinematic achievement, the maker of the film is to be congratulated on his excellent taste in selecting and displaying objects of art to the best advantage. The photographic technique employed in producing closeups and ultra closeups of fabrics, china and other materials is undeniably pretty close to perfection." Movie Makers, Dec. 1936, 551-552.

"A Chinese and an American boy find China's products in the latter's home." The Educational Screen, Jan. 1946, 23.


This film is a part of the Harmon Foundation Collection held by the National Archives. National Archives identifies the film by the title China's Gifts to the West: The Everyday Things.

Made by the Division of Visual Experiment of The Harmon Foundation.


  • New York City, New York (Filming)





Harmon Foundation Collection, National Archives


  • Screened in Dr. Frederic M. Thrasher's motion picture course at New York University in 1937: New York City, N.Y.

Viewing Notes:

"Documentary: On everyday items of Chinese origin which are seen in American homes and museums. R.1: A Chinese and an American boy look about the American's home to see paper, vases, tea, silks, gold fish in tank, and other items with Chinese influence. R.2: Boys feed two Pekinese dogs, and eat raw fruit. Museums display Chinese furniture, silks and fashions. Tinted color sequence recapitulates many items." Viewing notes via National Archives.