News Virtual Programs / World War I

Images d’Épinal: Paper Models from the Turn of the Century | Episode 127

Papercraft modeling and dolls are as old as paper, but the art form exploded in the 19th century with new innovations in printing technology, and tiny French city of Épinal became one of the global centers of printmaking. During the pandemic, papercraft modeling has been a welcome respite, and we have found countless Épinal prints available online and through Épinal’s Musée de L’Image. In this virtual program, we will examine (and assemble) some of our favorite models, including landmarks of French architecture, notable ships, and scenes from World War I. To provide historical context, we will be joined by Dr. Raisa Rexer, Assistant Professor of French at Vanderbilt University and an expert on 19th century French art and photography.

Below is a selection of prints from the renowned firm Imagerie d’Épinal from the collections of the Musée de L’Image and the French Ministry of Culture. These paper dolls can be printed on standard 8.5″ x 11″ paper (or larger) and assembled using just scissors and any type of craft glue.