The expression “Epinal print" refers to the popular prints made in Épinal and is known worldwide. Yet, only few people are aware that the printing workshop called Imagerie d’Épinal, which was created in 1796, is still a company in activity which can be visited today.
Épinal is often nicknamed "La Cité des Images" (city of prints) because of the presence of the printing workshop - the Imagerie, but it is not the only reason. The museum - Musée de l'Image has been on this site since 2003 and manages the largest collection of popular prints in Europe. The walk - Chemin des Images is an exhibition which offers an original journey through the city centre every year. Furthermore, the school Ecole Supérieure d’Art de Lorraine has an educational project called "Images et Narrations" (Prints and Narration). The "Pôle de l’Image” complex, which is implanted in the Maison Romaine, is a network of companies dedicated to digital images. That is why the city of Épinal is clearly billed as the "Cité des Images".
Every year in May, the Cité des Images complex organizes an event called Imaginales. It is a festival of fantasy literature which themes give pride of place to prints, over and over again...
The Printing Workshop - Imagerie d'Épinal
A visit to the printing workshops – the Imagerie d’Épinal offers an amazing experience. Dedicated tactile tablets, Histopads®, will give you a multimedia tour. You can discover the different areas, 220 years of history, the old machines still in activity as well as the different stages in manufacturing printing. All the information is displayed on the tactile tablets with oral commentaries which you can hear by using headphones. Your tour ends in the shop where you will discover a vast selection of old and contemporary prints, as well as by-products.
The museum - Musée de l'Image
The glass building of the museum - Musée de l’Image is just in front of the old printing workshop – the Imagerie. This very beautiful museum brings a new look on old prints, staging them with other more contemporary works. Today, the museum - Musée de l’Image houses one of the largest collections of popular prints in Europe. In total, more than 100,000 prints make up this collection, thanks to popular prints printed since the 18th century in France (Épinal, Orléans, Chartres, Paris, etc.), but also abroad (Germany, India, Japan, etc.).
Épinal is home to the ESAL, École Supérieure d’Art de Lorraine, formerly Ecole d’Image, which educational project embraces "Images et Narrations" (Prints and Narration) through a degree program, which reputation expands beyond our region Grand-Est.
Pôle de l’Image complex
The Pôle de l’Image complex is an area dedicated to the modern technologies concerning digital images and is implanted in the Maison Romaine, site of the former town library. It brings together several companies which work in the digital image sector.
For lovers of prints in all their shapes, sizes and forms, there are thousands of ways to fill your curiosity in Épinal, the Cité des Images.