About Sue Truman

That's me in the crankie factory cabin. Photo by Doug Plummer.

After seeing the crankies of Anna and Elizabeth and Katherine Fahey in 2011, I had found something I had been looking for - 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.

More Than Meets the Eye - The Magic of the Panorama, 2019

My article about the crankie revival has been published by the International Panorama Council.  The book contains 25 articles by International Panorama Council members and includes articles on 19th century moving panoramas as well.  Here's a description of the book. To order a copy from the International Panorama Council click on this link.


click on this link to see a description of the book.

John C. Campbell Folk School, Oct. 2019, Brasstown, NC

John C. Campbell Folk School - Oct. 27th to Nov. 1st, 2019 - My week at the Folk School was incredible.  I am teaching again the week of  Oct. 25th, 2020!  Come join me!  I will let you know when registration is up or contact the school.

In 2020, I was interviewed by the Folk School. You can read it here.

The Winnipeg Crankie Festival 2018, 2019 and 2021

I am performing the Black Cat Jig, Elizabeth LaPrelle is cranking behind the box. The live video projection made it easy for all to see.

Winnipeg, Manatoba - Sept.2018 and Nov., 2019 -  I believe this was Canada's first crankie fest!  Magic was made! I gave two crankie workshops, 50 crankies made! Leonard Polodak coordinated and provided live video projection on a HUGE screen making it easy for everyone to see and perform the smallest of crankies. In 2019 I returned for more! Winnipeg is the crankie capital of Canada!

In 2021 I taught the KITCHEN CRANKIES workshop online.  What fun!

International Panorama Council Conference, Sept. 2019, Atlanta, GA

I was lucky to find this 1870s Hibernicon ticket for sale on Ebay.

Atlanta, Georgia - THE INTERNATIONAL PANORAMA COUNCIL CONFERENCE  was held Sept. 26-27, 2019 at the Atlanta History Center. Honored that I presented!  My talk was Hibernicons: A Moving Panoramic Tour Through Ireland.  Coincidentally, in 1870, there was a Hibernicon show just a few miles away from the conference site in Atlanta. 

The museum designed/made the table. The pipe framework was screwed into the floor and wall. The table top was attached to the pipes and the crankie box making it very stable for cranking. A brilliant design by Maritime Historian Michael Deyer of the New Bedford Whaling Museum - jack of all trades!

July - October, 2018. Honored to be one of the artists selected to create a piece in response to the exhibition of The Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage Round the World.

I created an interactive crankie called Shore to Shore.  The public could crank it unsupervised!  It survived four months of being cranked, 7 days a week - yay! It was exhibited at the Kilburn Mill in New Bedford, MA.  Visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum!

Crankie Workshop - Kilburn Mill - 2018, New Bedford, MA

I love this photo of a family, each making their own crankie with the 1848 moving panorama in front of them for inspiration!

New Bedford, MA, Sept. 2018- As part of the celebration of the exhibition of a Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage Round the World, I gave a crankie workshop at the Kilburn Mill, where the moving panorama was displayed.  Read more about the workshop here.

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 PODORYTHMIE, 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

New York City skyline in a crankie box.

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

2017 was a busy year for crankie workshops! This one made at the Job Carr Cabin Museum.

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. Add rubber stamps sets and ink pads and participants are ready to stamp and crank!

Banners and Cranks Exhibit at The Ballard Institute -2017

One of the crankies I exhibited was a tribute to 19th century moving panorama showman Henry Box Brown.

Storrs, CT, February - June, 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.

The Northwest Puppet Center's 3rd Crankie Fest - 2016

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

Seattle, Washington, October, 2016 -  The 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.

International Panorama Council Outing - 2016

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

St. Louis, MO, July - 2016, I coordinated an outing for members of the IPC which included seeing 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. 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 here.

International Panorama Council Conference - 2015

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

Here I am, holding on for dear life, but had to get my picture taken next to this enormous spool!

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.

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

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.

This page was first created in 2013, updated 2019. Sue Truman❤