About Sue Truman

Photo by Doug Plummer, then digitized by me!

After seeing the crankies of Anna and Elizabeth and Katherine Fahey in 2011, I had found something I had been looking for for years - a way to combine the folkart images I love with the fiddle tunes I play.  When I saw the crankies I knew THIS WAS IT! I jumped in with both feet and it has been my passion ever since.


In addition to making and performing crankies, I became intrigued with the history of this forgotten art form. In the 19th century, crankies were known as moving panoramas as well as many other names. I sought out moving panorama historians such as Erkki Huhtamo, Suzanne Wray, Peter Morelli and Russell Potter to name a few. They have been most generous in contributing information to this website and supporting my efforts. I am truly grateful.


I have performed and presented in the US, Canada and abroad.   I love sharing the magic of crankies.


New Bedford, MA, Sept. 2018- Crankie workshop at the Kilburn Mill.

The 1st Winnipeg Crankie Festival

Winnipeg, Manatoba - Sept. 21-23, 2018 - I am so excited to be a part of this!!  I believe it's Canada's first crankie fest! There will be lots of opportunites to make a crankie.  More on this later when the schedule comes out.

Festival du Bois - 2018

One of my most ambitious crankies, the scroll is 60 feet in length with well over 1,000 pieces of tissue paper and black Tyvek glued to a white Tyvek scroll.

Coquitlam, British Columbia, March, 2018 - with the group PODORYTMIE, we performed several crankie shows and gave a crankie workshop at this celebration of French culture, music and language.

I premiered a crankie about the Fraser Lumber Mills and the French speaking Canadians who traveled to this part of BC to work in the mills in 1909. Festival du Bois

Vermont Crankie Fest -2018

Here I am in a sea of crankie boxes!

Brattleboro, VT, January, 2017, The Vermont Crankie Festival was coordinated by crankster Brendan Taaffe. It also included crankies by Mary Lauren Fraser and Kiah Raymond from Massachusetts and Ellen Gozion from Pittsburg among others.  Here is a nice article about it from Wonderland.

International Panorama Council Conference -2017

The name of my presentation was Crankies, Reinventing the Moving Panorama as Contemporary Folk Art

Queens, NY, October, 2017 - I presented at the International Panorama Council Conference at the Queens, Museum - The Resurgence of Moving Panoramas in the 21st Century.  I talked about the many ways crankie artists are using this artform. To learn more about the presentation click on IPC Talk 10-1-2017.

To find out more about the International Panorama Council click here!

Crankie Workshops in Canada and the US-2017

This was made at the Mackin House Museum at Festival du Bois in Coquitlam, British Columbia.

Canada and the US -  I perform crankies with the group PODORYTHMIE. We gave 7 crankie workshops at museums and festivals in the US and Canada in 2017. 

We bring boxes with a window already cut out, spindles with clothes pin cranks and Tyvek scrolls that have a landscape color wash. Add rubber stamps sets and ink pads and participants are ready to stamp and crank!

Banners and Cranks Exhibition-2017

I exhibited match box crankies, and a crankie about 19th Century moving panorama showman Henry "Box" Brown.

Storrs, CT, February, 2017 - The Ballard Institute at the University of Connecticut. Honored to be invited to exhibit some of my miniature crankies at the first ever exhibition of crankies and castastorias. Many thanks to Clare Dolan who curated the exhibition and to John Bell, Director of the Ballard Institute. Read more about it here.

Article for Publication-2017

Fall,  2016 - Crankies: Reinventing the Moving Panorama as Contemporary Folk Art  Honored to be asked to write an article about the crankie revival.  It will be published in a book of articles by International Panorama Council members in late 2018. Grateful for editors!

Seattle Crankie Fest - 2016

At the magical NW Puppet Center, one of the best spots for a crankie fest! nwpuppet.org

Seattle, Washington, October, 2016The NW Puppet Center's 3rd Crankie Festival  I helped Dmitri Carter coordinate the Puppet Center's 3rd crankie fest.  It was a sold out success and featured Katherine Fahey, Squirrel Butter, Dejah Leger & Louis Leger and PODORYTHMIE. More information about the event here.

Baltimore Crankie Fest-2016

Sue Truman cranking miniature crankies in the attic of a dollhouse crankie while it was being projected on a screen above. Photo Jon Bolton

Baltimore, Maryland, January, 2016 - The 3rd Annual Baltimore Crankie Festival, two nights of magical crankies. I was so inspired by everyone's art.  I was invited to collaborate on a DOLL HOUSE CRANKIE created by McKenzie Elizabeth Ditter, Matt Muirhead and Laura Kalman. I made a small contribution by making miniature crankies for the attic.  Watch a video of the DOLL HOUSE here.  Read about the festival, coordinated by Anna and Elizabeth, here.

International Panorama Council Outing in St. Louis-2016

A musical about the life an times of moving panorama showman John Banvard.

I coordinated an "outing" for members of the IPC which included seeing one panel of the "Dickinson" Mississippi moving panorama at the St. Louis Art Museum and  attending a presentation especially for us by Melissa Wolfe, Curator of American Art.  Then, we had lunch at the Panorama Restaurant (of course). Then off to the St. Louis Repertory Theatre for a special presentation and sneak peak of the moving panorama painted for the GEORAMA musical. Read more about Georama here.

IPC Conference - 2015

I provided an interactive display. Participants were invited to crank the crankie or move the shadow puppets.

Namur, Belgium, September, 2015 -   The International Panorama Council Conference, I was one of the featured artists at the conference. Totally honored to have been invited.

Moving Panorama of Pilgrim's Progress - 2015

You see I am smiling but also holding on for dear life. Not a big fan of heights but had to have my picture taken beside this enormous moving panorama scroll.

Saco, Maine, August, 2015 -   Crankie display and demonstration. The main attraction was the performance of the 19th century Moving Panorama of Pilgrim's Progress. Much gratitude to  Peter and Julia Morelli for hosting me. I had a fabulous time.   Read more about the Pilgrim's Progress moving panorama here.

Visit the Saco Museum's website here.

Oly Old Time Festival - 2015

I used a crankie, books and a magic lantern to talk about moving panorama history.

Olympia, Washington, February, 2015 The Oly Old Time Festival.  Performance and a "Power Pointless" presentation about the history of crankies.

Veleslavasay Panorama - 2014

Outslide the glorious Veleslavasay Panorama. A historical treasure in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, CA, July 2014 - The Veleslavaysay Panorama, Performance and presentation. If you are planning a visit to L.A., try to visit The Velaslavasay, it's a magical place.  Read more about it here.

International Panorama Council Conference-2013

I love my title on the name tag "Crankie Specialist" :-)

Lucerne, Switzerland. September, 2013 The International Panorama Council Conference,  Presentation + demonstration.   Crankies: Reinventing the Moving Panorama as Contemporary Folk Art.   Read more about it here.