The expression “Image d’Épinal" which means popular prints made in Épinal is known worldwide, yet few people are aware that the printing workshop - 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" because of the presence of the printing workshop – the Imagerie but that 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. Moreover, the walk - Chemin des Images is an exhibition which presents an original journey through the town centre every year. Furthermore, L’Ecole Supérieure d’Art de Lorraine has an educational project which embraces "Images et Narrations" (Prints and Narration). In addition, the "Pôle de l’Image” complex, which is a network of companies dedicated to digital images and is implanted in the Maison Romaine. Thus, the town of Épinal is clearly billed as the "Cité des Images".
Every year in May, the Cité des Images complex organizes the event – the Imaginales. It is a festival of fantasy literature whose themes give pride of place to prints over and over again...
A visit to the printing workshops – the Imagerie d’Épinal offers an amazing experience, using dedicated tactile tablets, Histopad® to 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 prints. All the information is displayed on the tactile tablets with oral commentaries which you can hear while using your headphones. Your visit ends in the shop where you will discover a vast selection of old and contemporary prints, as well as by-products.
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, putting them in scene 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 collections, thanks to popular prints printed since the 18th century in France (Épinal, Orléans, Chartres, Paris, etc.), but also abroad (Germany, India, Japan, etc.).
The Pôle de l’Image complex is an area dedicated to the modern technologies concerning digital images and is implanted in the Maison Romain, site of the former town library. It brings together several companies who work in the digital image sector.
For lovers of prints in all their shapes, sizes and forms, there is 1,001 ways to fill your curiosity in Épinal, the Cité des Images.