Select images from Michael Karl Witzel’s archive are now available for home or office decor (printed by CanvasPop™). Choose from a variety of sizes and styles, including canvas, poster, or framed prints. It’s easy as 1-2-3.
1 Click Buy Now 2 Select Format 3 Select Style
We’ll do the rest. Your canvas print is lovingly printed, hand-stretched and carefully packed and delivered to you in a few days. We don’t cut corners on quality. Legendary 66 art prints are made with only the highest quality materials in the industry and handmade by real people. That means real eyes inspecting your image and real hands framing it with care. We guarantee you’ll love it!
Title: Landmark Lodge Motel Sign
Archive: Michael Witzel Roadside America Collection
Copyright: © 2019 Michael Karl Witzel, All Rights Reserved
In America, the motel marquee sign is perhaps the last remaining vestige of the classic age of neon artistry.
Survivors may still be found along roads like Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, and Highway 80 in Fort Worth, Texas. Before the superhighway off-ramped American roadside culture into oblivion, it was the two-laned U.S. routes routed commercial traffic in and out of cities.
Along these corridors, hotels, motels, and tourist courts thrived. To get the attention on the motorist speeding past, many installed elaborate signs, complete with swooping and blinking neon. A bold and curved arrow became the focal point. It pointed up and over itself, leading the eyes to the Motel brand name and structure itself. The most memorable of these magnificent marquees was the “great sign” used by Holiday Inn from the 1950s to the 1970s, designed by sketch artists Gene Barber and Roland Alexander.
When founder Kemmons Wilson departed the company in 1982, the elaborate sign was abandoned in favor of backlit plastic. Today, only a few intact examples survive, one at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Imitators like the Landmark Lodge continue to defy the onslaught of change, burning brightly along the American roadside for everyone that takes the time to look.