Did you know that the image-making tradition of Vosges' capital dates back to the 18th century? Back then, card and coloured paper-makers helped to make it famous all over Europe, by creating original popular images that were then reproduced in the 19th century by the printers Pinot and Pellerin. The town of Épinal thus wanted to pay tribute to this image-making heritage by opening the Cité de l'Image in 2003, bringing together an impressive and ever-expanding collection of around 110,000 works, one of the biggest in the world!
A true heritage treasure, the Cité de l'Image's collection is a reflection of society in bygone days, charting changes in tastes and customs. From Perrault's fairy tales to Napoleon, from the Americas to the '60s, the permanent exhibition room of 400 m² tells the story of the popular image, engravers and image-makers while explaining the function of the image: instructing, selling, promotional, religious and propaganda images, etc. The messages delivered are often clear but sometimes more subtle: to help visitors understand them, there are explanation texts, interactive terminals, video montages and even an audio-guide in 5 languages.
For conservation reasons, the images on display are regularly stored away, so the museum is never exactly the same twice, and you will discover new works every time you visit.
The museum is also designed with children in mind, with its educational games and special workshops, and the gift shop is a true Ali Baba's cave with its catalogues designed to look like history books, and reproductions of images to give as a gift or just treat yourself.
As the Cité de l'Image was built near to the old Pellerin print works, you can buy a combined ticket on both sites allowing you to complete your visit with a tour of the workshops, where you can learn all about printing techniques!